Making land fertile again

Making land fertile again

I am happy to be able to come back and live on the land that has become productive again.

Hassan Gado, Niger

CONTEXT

Action Against Desertification (AAD) is a programme that supports local communities, governments and civil society in six African countries - Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, the Gambia, the Niger, Nigeria and Senegal – as well as in Fiji and Haiti, to sustainably manage and restore their drylands and fragile ecosystems affected by desertification, land degradation and drought. This initiative contributes to the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel (GGW), to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) national action plans, and promotes south-south cooperation in ACP countries. The programme is implemented by FAO and other partners.

OBJECTIVES

  • Sustainably manage and restore their drylands and fragile ecosystems affected by desertification, land degradation and drought;
  • Contribute to the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel (GGW), to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) national action plans;
  • Promote south-south cooperation in ACP countries;

RESULTS

  • The programme achieved following results in Burkina Faso:
  • 1 150 households in the beneficiary communities of farmers and herders participated directly, for a total of 6 931 individuals, 47 percent of them being women;
  • 3 185 hectares of degraded land were manually and mechanically prepared and replanted for sylvo-pastoralism with 25 diverse native woody and herbaceous fodder species produced with tons of seeds for direct sowing and/or seedlings for planting;
  • Scientific research contributed to inoculating planting materials with local symbiotic micro-organisms to boost growth, resilience and to improve productivity.
  • Involved 45 villages in restoration, local people contributing enthusiastically and voluntarily working to revegetate degraded lands covering 81 sites;

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • 45 villages in restoration, local people contributing
  • 1 150 households in the beneficiary communities of farmers and herders participated directly
  • 3 185 hectares of degraded land were manually and mechanically prepared and replanted

TESTIMONY

Hassan returning back to Niger to live on the land that has become productive again

“If you have a reason to stay home, you don’t leave”, says Hassan Gado (51), who just returned to Niger, which is now experiencing the benefits of the programme’s work. He left in 1984, sold cigarettes in Lagos, worked in the port of Cotonou and then in a shoe-shop in Lomé. “Being a migrant worker is hard”, Hassan says. “You don’t have family. Sometimes you don’t even have a place to sleep. But there are good times too”. “I went out to see the world,” says Hassan. “Bob Marley said: ‘Travel and see’. If you always stay where you are, you don’t learn anything.”

He is positive about the experiences he had, even though they were hard, but is happy to be able to come back and live on the land that has become productive once again.