We have investigated the Impacts of empowering rural women through an initiative developed by Ético and its partners in Nicaragua and extending to other parts of the world. April 2024.

Welcome to Proyecto Mezquite

The project’s long term ambition is to improve the welfare of less advantaged community groups in the drylands of developing countries, including Mexico, Kenya and Tanzania using Mezquite (Prosopis spp).

We aim to promote ethical, sustainable environmental, socio-cultural and economic development for the benefit of marginalized communities in Mexico, Kenya and Tanzania. We are supporting communities to help themselves, thus all research proposals and solutions proposed by Mezquite Project have been co-created with input from dryland communities.

Mezquite, a tree native to the arid and semi-arid zones of Mexico is extremely resistant to drought and is one of the few species that grows where other plants are unable to survive. In Mexico, we aim to encourage communities to use mezquite in a sustainable and holistic way and encourage reforestation.

Management of mezquite in Africa is challenging and complex, because the tree has become an invasive species that requires a multi-sectorial, multi-disciplinary and multi-national approach. In areas where control by eradication is not possible, we can help communities to utilize mezquite in a productive and commercial way through sharing of traditional and indigenous knowledge from the project member states (Tanzania, Kenya, UK and Mexico) and to enhance research capabilities and innovation in the use and management of mezquite.

Past Projects

  • GCRF, Networking grant: Sustainable and holistic use of mezquite to improve quality of life in developing countries  1 Jan – 31 Jul 2019
  • GCRF, Research grant: Studying the use of mezquite to improve welfare of communities in arid and semi-arid zones of the world. 1 Aug 2019 – 31 Jul 2020. Approved extension until 31st Dec 2020.
  • British Council, UK-INAPI, Mexico: Mezquite: a means to improving sustainable social, cultural and economic welfare in arid and semi-arid zones of Sinaloa and Mexico.  17 Feb 2020 – 16 Feb 2021. Approved extension until 31st Dec 2021.
  • AHRC, Cultures and Histories of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition –
    Jan 2020
    : Arid ethno-forestry food systems: a wellbeing alternative for communities living in drylands of the world.  1st March 2021 – 31st July 2022. Note: the funds of this project have not been received as consequence on the reduction of the ODA budget from UK’s government (for more information visit the link of UKRI-ODA)
  • FoS International Collaboration Fund, University of Nottingham: Expanding the Proyecto Mezquite network to tackle global challenges in Mexican drylands. 1st Jan – 31st July 2023.

Current Projects

  • Capabilities in Academic-Policy Engagement (CAPE) Fellowship to Dr Zinnia Gonzalez-Carranza from the University of Nottingham to work with Social Business Network and Ético: Informing policy of the benefits of supporting small rural communities through international trade and small cooperative organisation: case study exploring Social Business Network and Ético strategies. 1st April 2023- 31st March 2024.
  • Research England’s QR-Policy Support Fund 2022-23, University of Nottingham: Engaging policy makers to address bottlenecks that stop sustainable utilisation of Prosopis pods by marginalised communities in Mexico and Kenya. 1st Jan 2023- 31st March 2024.

People

We are a trans-disciplinary and multi-sectorial team collaborating to generate alternatives that respond to dryland community needs. Our aims include performing excellent research and increasing local research capability and innovation.

Resources

This section contains resources and reading material for people that are interested in finding out more about mezquite. It also contains resources we are generating for the benefit of communities and the public.

Communities

At present we are working with communities in

Mexico:

  • San Juan de Guadalupe, Durango
  • Ejido Eufemio Zapata, Nazas, Durango
  • Estación Doctor, Sonora
  • Ejido Mesa Rica, Sonora
  • El Fuerte y Choix, Sinaloa

Kenya (Baringo County):

  • Il Chamus
  • Tugen

Tanzania:

  • Lang’ata Bora, Nwanga District