01 logo

How the Sahara Desert is Turning into a Farmland Oasis - GREENING THE DESERT PROJECT

From Barren Sands to Flourishing Oasis: The Remarkable Journey of the Sahara Desert's Greening the Desert Project

By HalintonePublished 9 months ago 7 min read
1

How the Sahara Desert is Turning into a Farmland Oasis - GREENING THE DESERT PROJECT

Stretching across the expanse of Northern Africa, the Sahara stands as the world's largest desert, encompassing vast territories. Its vastness spans approximately 3,000 miles, with the Atlantic Ocean guarding its western boundary, the Atlas Mountains and Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Red Sea to the east, and the Sahel marking its southern edge. Serving as a transitional zone between the arid Sahara to the north and the lush savannas further south, the Sahara also poses a persistent challenge due to concerns over land management, overgrazing, and recurring droughts, which continue to pose threats to the region.

it's fast becoming completely

desertified this land loss is a driver

of many other problems such as hunger

poverty unemployment forced migration

conflict as well as an increased risk of

extreme weather events however the

country niger in the african sahara

region has been making some astonishing

agricultural developments turning large

areas suffering from desertification

into agricultural fields in niger 5

million hectares of land with over 200

million trees have been restored with

2.5 million people benefiting from the

improved use of land

this transformation can be called a

major accomplishment for any country

especially when a country only receives

an average of 6.5 inches of rain for a

year in this video we're going to tell

you how and why niger is turning its

deserts into huge farmlands

so stick with us and let's dive in to

today's video

[Music]

niger which is officially a republic is

a landlocked country in west africa

named after the niger river over 80

percent of its land area lies in the

sahara desert those trying to grow crops

in the sahel region are often faced with

poor soil erratic rainfall and long

periods of drought farmers faced

significant tree losses in the 1970s and

80s as a result of drought the expansion

of cropland and human pressure because

few trees remained on the fields farmers

often witnessed their newly planted

crops being destroyed by the wind

erosion

africa is currently losing 4 million

hectares of forest every year for this

reason yet has more than 700 million

hectares of degraded land viable for

restoration by bringing degraded land

back to life farmers do not have to

clear additional forest land to turn it

into cropland for africa's rising

population and growing food demands

restoring degraded land back to

productive good health is a huge

opportunity for africa it brings big

social and economic benefits to rural

farming communities it helps combat

climate change and brings technology to

enhance traditional knowledge one of the

main regenerative initiatives which is

restoring 5 million hectares of land in

niger is farm managed natural

regeneration known as fmnr

fmnr is a low-cost land restoration

technique used to combat poverty and

hunger amongst poor substance farmers by

increasing food and timber production

and resilience to climate extremes

fmnr increases the productivity and

resilience of crop fields and pasture

lands in the challenging growing

conditions of africa's sahara it is a

technology that has proven amongst the

most transformative of all fmnr started

in 1983 in niger pioneered by tony

ronaldo an australian agronomist who is

widely known as the forest maker having

lived and worked in african countries

for several decades he has discovered

and put into practice a solution to the

extreme deforestation and

desertification of the sahara region

fmnr is a form of coppicing and

pollarding drawing on traditional

practices and sensitive to the local

variations by choosing the right plants

and pruning and protecting them in a

certain way farmers can help them grow

into trees with a simple set of

management practices farmers can

regenerate and protect existing local

vegetation which has helped to improve

the livelihoods of millions growing

trees and forests in a sustainable way

can restore degraded lands build

resilience and help people and societies

adapt to climate change protecting and

enhancing forests are also an essential

way to combat in climate change a forest

can absorb about 2 billion tons of

carbon dioxide annually fmnr technique

is hugely successful compared to tree

planting schemes which have a

notoriously low success rate scarcely 10

of seedlings survive the heat and dust

storms of niger and the surviving ones

would be eaten by goats or cut down by

people for firewood success came when

tony ronaldo noticed that the millions

of small bushes in the savannah were

actually stumps of trees growing back

the shoots from the new stumps just

needed to be managed pruned and cared

for in order to grow into a tree

this is when tony ronaldo developed the

concept of farmer managed natural

regeneration fmnr

a very simple set of actions that

farmers can take to re-green their land

first farmers survey the land and choose

among the existing local species the

right ones to regenerate

second farmers select the few stems that

they want to grow while cutting the rest

to be used as fodder mulch or similar

then the selected stems are pruned to

half way of the trunk finally the farmer

marks the regrowing trees and protects

them the process is repeated every two

to six months

farmer managed natural regeneration

became an enormous success in niger

because of its simplicity local

adaptability low cost about 20 usd per

hectare

easy combination with agricultural

methods and quick results the methods

spread through peer-to-peer learning

among farmers with limited need for

outside intervention in niger 5 million

hectares of land with over 200 million

trees have been restored this way with

2.5 million people benefiting from the

improved use of land and at least 25

countries mainly in africa are already

using this method

what makes fmnr so important is the fact

that it's using these natural techniques

to solve agricultural issues instead of

favoring more quick alternatives that

use harmful chemicals a technique that

tony ronaldo learned from a young age

brings more destruction

growing up in the agricultural region of

the ovens valley in northern victoria

tony felt worried about the

environmentally destructive farming

practices in his region

at that time they were using planes to

spray the crops tony ronaldo said that

the chemicals would kill the fish in the

stream and that they would also clear

fell the native bush which he loved and

they replaced it with monocultures of

pines it's this unique experience that

enabled tony to search for natural

solutions when attempting to re-green

the desert which creates long-term food

security abundance and well for the

local people instead of reaching for

short-term quick rewards with chemical

pesticide use that ultimately causes

more destruction in the long run

in recent years the un the eu and the

charity oxfam have all been financially

supporting the practice of fmnr in niger

and in july 2020 niger became one of the

first countries globally to adopt a

presidential decree regulating and

promoting the practice of fmnr this

increases the adoption of fmnr by

farmers and pastoralists

the results of fmnr have been astounding

arable land has almost doubled since the

1980s creating improved food security

and better nutrition for millions of

people increasing household gross

incomes by an average of 18 to 24

environmental degradation and

desertification have also been reversed

across some 5 million hectares of land

tree density has 10x since its all-time

low in the 1980s around 200 million new

trees have grown with a production value

of over 260 million it's no surprise

that this innovative yet simple

technique is spreading all over africa

and making positive changes to the

environment and the people who live

there that's it for today if you enjoyed

this video make sure to smash the like

if you want more content like this then

hit the subscribe button with the bell

notification on leaf of life is a small

unpaid team creating solutions based

content about sustainable and

environmental problems the world is

facing we rely on our patrons who

support this channel if you wish to

become one please check out our links in

the description thank you for watching

until next time

fact or fiction
1

About the Creator

Halintone

Join me on a captivating journey through extraordinary stories that transcend boundaries. Unveiling hidden treasures with vivid words, let's explore the magic of imagination together. Get ready for an unforgettable literary odyssey!

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (1)

Sign in to comment
  • AHSAN9 months ago

    Beautiful story

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.