The World Resources Institute presents the case that a serious contributing factor in today’s African migrant crisis is the failure of food crops and lack of economic security due to the sheer impoverishment of Africa’s soils. To be blunt, the soils are dying. The answer? More trees!
The recent New Climate Economy report shows that restoring just 150 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 could feed 200 million people, raise $35-40 billion annually in farm incomes, strengthen climate resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions….
- In Niger, the increased density of trees on cropland has reduced the time women spend collecting firewood from 2.5 hours each day to an average of half an hour per day.
- Farmers in Malawi are promoting the growth of Faidherbia albida trees on fields to provide shade canopies and lock nitrogen in the soil. Farmers have seen their maize crop yields increase from fewer than 2 tons per hectare (2.5 acres) to 3 and 4 tons per hectare.
- In Burkina Faso, farmers are using water-harvesting techniques such as building stone lines and improved planting pits, locally known as zai. These practices help trap rainfall on crop fields, increasing average cereal yields from 400 to 900 kilograms (880-1,984 pounds) per hectare (2.5 acres) or more.
This next WRI article also has details about South Korea,
…and how agroforestry can, with just a few water-storing pits and specially planted fuel-trees, add to the productivity and fertility of farms and increase carbon storing across hundreds of millions of acres!