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Our journey in sustainable agricultural systems began when Tony and I went to Niger Republic in 1981 to work with village farmers. We tried many interventions with varying degrees of success and failure. The one which had the most significant immediate and long-term impact was Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration of trees (FMNR). We were not alone in working on tree projects in the region and the result of the combined efforts has been that Niger is the only country in Africa to have experienced net reforestation over the last 20 years. Since 1984, the forest resulting from FMNR has grown at 250,00 hectares (617,700 acres) per year across Niger and Burkina Faso (US Geological Survery 2007).
Niger Satellite images- the first taken in 1975, the second in 2003.
Tony has been able to continue working on FMNR in his role at World Vision (since 1999) and has seen it spread to eight African and three Asian countries, including:
Ethiopia – photos taken before and after FMNR
Senegal – photos taken before and after FMNR
Now we have the opportunity to spend three months together in East Africa organising and participating in workshops, conferences and field trips as part of the stimulus for a regional reforestation/sustainable agriculture movement. Please join us in this journey through this blog.