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Reforestation, town of Galma and surroundings, Niger 1975 and 2003

Reforestation, town of Galma and surroundings, Niger 1975 and 2003

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Uploaded 21 Feb 2012 by GRID-Arendal
Year: 2008 Author: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Description:
In 1970s and 1980s - years of environmental crisis, there were few trees remaining in Niger. Wind-blown sands razed farmers' young crops and they often had to plant crops three times to succeed. Since the middle of the 1980s in the most densely populated parts of Niger farmers have begun to protect and manage young trees and bushes regenerating on their cultivated fields. This is natural farmer-managed forest regeneration. Some trees fix nitrogen from the air on their root system, which helps to maintain and improve soil fertility. Improved soil fertility leads to higher crop yields. The trees and bushes protect crops against wind and sand and farmers now often need to sow only once, which increases the length of the growing season. Women are perhaps the biggest winners. They spend much less time now on the collection of firewood than they did 20 years ago - about 0.5 hours/day now instead of 2.5 hours/day in 1984. They also now own 80% of the goats and sheep, which provides them w ...
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