Farmers Restoring the Land in a Time of Change: Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration in Maradi, Niger
Hyeone Park & Kristen Walsh
Keywords. desertification, restoration, farmers, FMNR, Niger
Summary. In the wake of widespread desertification processes around the world and the fleet of changing landscapes they introduce, growing attention is being drawn to Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) practices, which have been particularly successful in Niger. A simple regeneration technique, and a twist on a local historical practice, FMNR involves pruning and coppicing tree stumps and roots. The change in perspective of land management was farmer-led and spread by word of mouth, speaking to the power of local knowledge and community driven restoration initiatives. Contributing to the re-greening of 5 million hectares of degraded land in Niger, the practice has inspired projects across the Sahel and around the world. Our case study explores the relationship between natural regeneration, changing natures and ecologically minded food production, and offers an example of minimal-- yet extremely effective-- intervention.
Acknowledgements. Thanks to our great class and Dr. Eric Higgs for stimulating discussions.