In the African Sahel, a country called Niger bordering the Sahara Desert, the largest desert in the world, is stopping desertification and turning is deserts into an Oasis. Regenerative Agriculture is leading the way with a technique called Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR).  The innovative technique has been adopted by local farmers through peer-to-peer learning making it cost effective and easy to implement. Over the last 40 years the visual results and the data have shown FMNR has been extremely successful in turning desert into farmland. It has regenerated 5 million hectares of degraded land; 200 million trees have been restored and has benefited 2.5 million people increasing household income by 18-24%. The available arable land has doubled since the severe droughts of the 1970s and tree density has 10x since its all-time low in the 1980s. This is an extraordinary achievement considering Niger only receives on average 6.5 inches of rainfall a year and 80% of the country is considered a desert.” SOURCE: Leaf of Life on YouTube  

This video highlights the effort that Niger has made to prevent the desertification.  The Sahara could easily spread further south into the Sahel given the right (or wrong conditions).  Overgrazing on marginal lands with little precipitation can easily lead to the expansion of the desert.  Once of the strategies used by local communities in the Sahel is known as farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR). 

This strategy of having farmers manage the land is seen as an effective way to promote sustainable environmental, economic, and developmental goals.   In dry ecosystems on the edge of a desert like the Sahel in Niger, FMNR can reverse tree loss and biodiversity

TAGS: Niger, Africa, development, agriculture.