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Prosopis management

This community sold products made from cleared Prosopis and used the proceeds to buy a pump so they could grow maize. This community sold products made from cleared Prosopis and used the proceeds to buy a pump so they could grow maize.

Pastoralists in Afar live in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. Grazing areas are scarce and vegetation sparse. In recent years this precious grazing land has been invaded by an aggressive, thorny plant called Prosopis (Prosopis juliflora), known to locals as the devil tree.

The government originally introduced it to stabilise the soil but it has now spread into grazing areas, choking out water sources, forcing people from their villages and drastically reducing the grazing available to livestock.

Controlling the “devil tree”

Local people, with Farm Africa's help, have researched the best way to permanently clear the land. We work directly with communities to:

  • investigate ways to prevent the plant invading further and to restore affected grazing land
  • support the use of cleared land for sustainable agriculture and increase household incomes
  • find creative ways to make money from the cleared shrub by turning it into products such as animal feed
  • set up community groups to manage a fund of money and decide on priorities for their local area. Community members can apply to these groups to fund small projects such as buying a generator to power a water pump.

We are also sharing our knowledge and experience with local government and other NGOs, so that many more communities can adopt the new practices.

Who are we helping?

Our work has directly benefitted 3,860 people in the region who use the restored land for grazing and farming. They in turn are sharing what they have learned with 5,000 more people.

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