HomeFarmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR)

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR)

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) is a low-cost land restoration technique used to combat poverty and hunger amongst poor subsistence farmers by increasing food and timber production and resilience to climate extremes.  

FMNR systems have their origin in 1983 in Niger and it one of the easiest and most low-cost options for farmers to increase the number of trees in the fields. 

Thanks to the development of FMNR systems, farmers protect and manage the growth of trees and shrubs that regenerate naturally in their fields from root stock or from seeds dispersed through animal manure.  

What are the objectives of FMNR? 

The world has experienced severe land degradation due to deforestation, climate change, drought, desertification and unsustainable land uses. Consequently, the productivity and health of farmlands, grazing lands and forests is damaged, which in turn harms the individuals and communities who depend on these resources for their food supply, health and income. 

The main objective since the beginning of this system has been improving livelihoods through improved ecosystem health and function. Through the restoration of vegetation, FMNR addresses multiple problems in a simultaneous way, including: land degradation, soil infertility and erosion, food insecurity, biodiversity loss, fuel wood and more. In addition, FMNR contributes to increased recharge of groundwater and increased soil moister. Through all these impacts, FMNR is an effective means of reducing poverty even of those furthest behind. 

How does FMNR work? 

The processes of how FMNR work changes depending on the species, the number of trees and number of stems, among other. However, in every process we can find three common steps in the approach: 

  1. Select: Selecting the desired tree stumps and, for each one of those stumps, selecting a number of the tallest and straightest stems to grow into trees. 
  1. Prune and manage: Removing the unwanted stems and side branches.  
  1. Maintain: Culling emerging lower stems and prune side branches from time to time 

The ultimate goals of this approach include: providing a sustainable source of firewood, heling to increase soil fertility for crop production, supplying fodder for animal and food for people, creating products that farmers can sell and reducing effects of climate change, among others. 

How to implement a FMNR project? 

The following implementation process was co-developed with farmers in Niger and is adapted with land users for their unique needs and goals of local communities in line with their environment.  

  1. First of all, participatory sensitisation meeting should be conducted with community leaders, forest and agriculture experts, NGOs and community members. The most important thing in this meeting should be to define in a very clear wat how this FMNR project connects to their livelihoods. In addition, some planning meeting can be held at the same time or later.  
  1. FMNR training for project and government extension agents. 
  1. Communities study and select the FMNR project that will actively teach and lead.  
  1. Extension Agents train farmer champions and provide follow ups a monitoring, giving encouragement and assistance with problem solving.  
  1. Following the adoptions, there should be exchange visits from neighbouring districts. Most people and, specially, farmers in these communities ´believe by seeing’ and by hearing from equals.  
  1. Tree product value chains are developed. FMNR projects are integrated with other processes enabling poor communities to let the trees grow in order to in a long-term perspective have diversified income sources to meet their needs. 

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