RECLAIMING DEGRADED LAND

 

Photo credit: ICRISAT

Women participants with their harvest from crops grown on reclaimed land Photo: S Abdoussalam, ICRISAT

WOMEN FARMERS DOUBLE INCOMES AND ENHANCE HOUSEHOLD NUTRITION BY RECLAIMING DEGRADED LAND

In eastern Niger, 241 hectares of degraded land was converted into productive farms for 10,770 women through the Bio-reclamation of Degraded Lands (BDL) system. This has resulted in a 50% increase in agri-income over non-BDL participants. These impacts are from a mid-term evaluation study conducted at the end of three years of a five-year project.

The results were shared with the local communities in 172 villages in the district of Mayahi (Maradi region) and Kantche (Zinder region) in a series of meetings over the past few months.

The initial results of the impact evaluation conducted by the ICRISAT socio-economics team show that the BDL system had a positive effect on women by giving them access to land and increasing their income. The 0.02 hectare piece of land allocated to each woman in the BDL plot of 1 ha resulted in an average increase in the household income of women participants by 14,345 FCFA (US$26) which is approximately a 50% increase over non-BDL participants. This does not include income from the forestry component, which if added raised the average household income to US$100.

The BDL system has an agroforestry component that incorporates high-value trees and vegetables in a holistic system, with the aim of reversing damage to soils caused by overgrazing and intensive farming. It is a climate-smart technology that helps regenerate the landscape by improving soil fertility through carbon sequestration via tree roots and reducing soil erosion.

The technology developed by ICRISAT had two main components – water harvesting techniques and high-value nutritious trees and annual crops.

Read the full article: ICRISAT

 

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.