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Definition and Associated Links for Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR)

by portaladmin last modified Jan 10, 2013 11:07 AM
FMNR resource
Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) is a reforestation technique developed in West Africa in the 1980s and 1990s, now practiced on over 30,000 km² of land in the Niger Republic as well as Chad, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Mali (Reij, 2001).
FMNR relies on the presence of remaining live tree roots, and uses silviculture and coppicing techniques to regrow pre-existing rootstock material. FMNR in its simplest form is merely the selection and pruning of stems which sprout from indigenous tree and shrub stumps. Typically 10 – 20 stems may sprout from a stump. For each stump, a decision is made by the farmer as to how many stems will be chosen for growth. The tallest and straightest stems are selected. By selecting approximately 5 stems per stump and pruning side branches, and by culling unwanted stems, very rapid re-growth can be achieved. Returning regularly to prune any unwanted new stems and side branches attains best results.
Different management regimes are possible, and farmers will choose the regime that best meets their needs. An example of one management regime follows: Each year one stem from each stump is harvested so as to never leave the area denuded. With each passing year, subsequent stems are larger and hence more valuable. In the case of a carbon sequestration project, one stem will be earmarked to remain intact for the duration of the contract, thus ensuring carbon trading agreements are respected.
FMNR was initially developed and promoted on a small scale in the Niger Republic in 1983. Scale up occurred during the severe famine of 1984. Through a food for work program, FMNR was promoted in over 100 villages by staff of SIMs Maradi Integrated Development Project. Farmers had traditionally cleared their land of all woody and herbacious vegetation in preparation for planting annual crops. Despite this, the remaining rootstock of the native trees continued to resprout each year. Farmers practicing FMNR trained these plants, and grew them into trees of between 3–6 meters in height. These farmers saw increases in crop yields, increased fodder production, fuel wood availability from prunings and thinnings, as well as the potential to sell firewood in drought years. Research into the application of FMNR by Dr. Chris Reij, (Vrije University, Amsterdam) has revealed that over 30,000 km² in danger of desertification have been revegetated through FMNR in Niger alone. Recent articles in the New York Times (February 11, 2007) and the UN wire service (March 7, 2007) have confirmed that Niger is the only country in Africa to see an increase of forest cover over the past 30 years. FMNR has played a significant role in this restoration of forest cover.
Tony Rinaudo, an aid worker with SIM between 1981 and 1999 has been credited by many people as the initial developer of the FMNR technique.
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