You are here: Home > Where we work > Ethiopia > "When it was cut down, it grew twice as fast"

"When it was cut down, it grew twice as fast"

Hawa holds cotton she grew on land cleared of ProsopisIn Ethiopia’s harsh Afar region, remote communities are battling to clear an invasive thorny shrub called Prosopis that has taken over much of the local land, forcing communities from their villages and making it impossible to keep animals or plant crops for food.

We are working side by side with community members to investigate the best way to eradicate the shrub, so they can clear precious land to irrigate and farm for cash crops such as cotton and sesame.

Making money from Prosopis

Not only are local people able to reclaim valuable farm land but we are also identifying creative ways to make money from the uprooted plants by making them into charcoal, tool handles and animal feed to earn extra money.

Hawa Hassan, a mother of two, is treasurer of her local community development committee. Her group are working with Farm Africa to clear their land. They have already cleared 70 hectares of land and have grown sesame and 6.3 tonnes of cotton to sell. To plan for the future, they have invested in irrigation equipment so that they can cultivate more land.

Returning home

Hawa said: “There has been great change since the project started. Before the project I had no hope and had to move from the village because the invasion of the Prosopis was so powerful. Whenever it was cut down it grew twice as fast. Now Farm Africa has shown us how to manage it, we can go back to our homeland and grow food and other crops.”