How the Sahara Desert has Turned into a Farmland Oasis GREENING THE DESERT PROJECT #2

In the African Sahel, a country called Bukina Faso bordering the Sahara Desert has stopped the advancement of desertification and turned degraded soil into a farmland Oasis in the desert.

In the semi arid region of the Sahal the advancement of the Sahara desert continues to be a threat due to unsustainable land management, over grazing, and droughts.

The country of Burkina Faso has been making some astonishing agriculture developments turning large areas suffering from desertification into agricultural farms.

Thanks to one Indigenous African farmer “who is known as the man who stopped the desert”, he is called Yacouba Dawadogo and lives in the region of northern Burkina Faso, which was most affected by the famine of the 1970s and 80s.

Yacouba decided to take it upon himself to stop the desert, without any modern machinery or monetary funding, Yacouba revitalized the ancient farming technique called Zaï , which led to forest growth and increased soil quality.

Yacouba has been working on a 40 hectare piece of abandoned and barren land, he planted many types trees and bushes, which have now become a rich bio diverse forest of 60 species of trees that provides fruits and nuts for his family and the wild life that live there.

Yacoubas forest is considered to be the most diverse forest planted and managed by any farmer in the Sahal and scientists have claimed that his work has done much more than international research.

Yacouba is always eager to share this ancient knowledge and has trained thousands of visitors from the region and beyond, empowering farmers to regenerate their land.
As a result, tens of thousands of hectares of degraded land have been restored to productivity in Burkina Faso helping over 20 million people.

With the help of new technological advancements: The Delfino plough, which creates large half-moon catchments ready for planting seeds, which boosting rainwater harvesting & makes soil more permeable for planting than the traditional and backbreaking method of digging by hand.

The Delfino plough is also extremely efficient covering 15 to 20 hectares in a day compared to one hundred farmers digging half-moon irrigation ditches by hand can cover only a hectare a day.

Once an area is ploughed, the seeds of woody and herbaceous native species are then sown directly. These species are very resilient and work well in degraded land, providing vegetation cover and improving the productivity of previously barren lands.

Thanks to Yacouba bringing back the traditional method of zai a natural low cost way to increase biodiversity, the people of Burkina Faso have been able to transform their lives. This method has now spread benefiting millions of people who live around the Sahara desert.

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at
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1 Response to How the Sahara Desert has Turned into a Farmland Oasis GREENING THE DESERT PROJECT #2

  1. Pingback: Meet Yacouba Sawadogo, who turned Desert in a Full-fledged Forest – Decoding Biosphere

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