THE MND HOMEGARDENS OF THE CHAGGA
LOCATION | Chagga
TYPOLOGY | Forest Farming
SYSTEM | Mnd Homegardens
PEOPLE | Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
From the Amazon jungle to the foothills of Africa’s highest mountain, similar local farming technologies are found, cultivating the ancient forests surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro. The Mnd or homegardens are dense banana forests, watered by canals that long ago replaced the natural forest canopy along the lower southern slopes. A homegarden is a land use system involving deliberate management of multipurpose trees and shrubs in symbiosis with annual and perennial agricultural crops and livestock. Home gardens are individually or family managed, highly productive and sustainable with food production as their primary function. This remarkable agroforestry system, which mimics the natural habitat of the tropical montane forest, is so well-designed for productivity that it sustains the region’s ten-fold population explosion of the past one hundred years.
Illustrations by Despoina Linaraki