Restorative trees revive farming
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CTA. 2001. Restorative trees revive farming. Spore 91. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46050
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore91.pdf
The management of trees for farmland rehabilitation and development was the theme of a seminar organised jointly in Khartoum, Sudan, from 27 October to 7 November 2000 by the National Forests and Agricultural Research Corporations of Sudan
The traditional agro-forestry system of the Sudano-Sahelian zone of Africa based on the gum arabic tree Acacia senegal is on its way back, after several decades of neglect. The pressures of commercial single-crop agriculture, severe droughts and indiscriminate clearing had pushed Acacia senegal into the background. Its comeback is thanks to its ability to rehabilitate degraded lands during fallow periods and to mitigate desertification, as well as its use for associated food crops and its value for the production of gum arabic. This prized export crop is grown throughout the Sahel, notably in Chad and Sudan, with the latter providing 80% of world trade. The management of trees for farmland rehabilitation and development was the theme of a seminar organised jointly in Khartoum, Sudan, from 27 October to 7 November 2000 by the National Forests and Agricultural Research Corporations of Sudan and the International Foundation for Science, African Academy of Sciences, the UK agency DFID, the University of Helsinki and CTA. With a programme full of practical case studies and detailed field visits, the seminar was rich in recommendations for policy-makers and legislators, ranging from registering local species of trees in biodiversity laws to land tenure issues. Gender issues were well promoted too. With a precision which is sadly rare for many agricultural and forestry meetings, the participants urged research organisations to collect and publish gender-disaggregated data about activities around Acacia senegal and other species. Other seminars in other areas, take heed. To make a difference for women, we men and women - need to know the differences in the data.