Here’s an article (below) on the return of traditional agroforestry land management in Africa’s Sahel region.
Written by Joe Hitchon / Inter Press Service
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In Africa’s Sahel region, agroforestry techniques using traditional plantings known as “fertilizer trees” to increase soil fertility, as well as harvesting and grazing regulations, are offering new solutions to both food and human security.
Such approaches were nearly lost in recent decades following devastating droughts in the Sahel. Now they are making a belated but welcome comeback. According to a 2012 US Geological Survey, “regeneration agroforestry” in the Sahel stands at over 5 million hectares of agricultural fields newly covered by trees—and growing.
“Agroforestry is the future of agriculture in the drylands and sub-humid regions,” Chris Reij, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based think tank, told IPS. “In southern Niger, for instance, farmers have improved millions of hectares of land through regenerating and multiplying valuable trees whose roots already lay beneath their land.”