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Turning a prickly tree into a money making commodity

Introduced in Ethiopia to stabilise the soil, the thorny Prosopis tree has spread rapidly, eating up over 1.2 million hectares of grazing land. But the government and NGOs have not only helped pastoralist communities to clear large areas of Prosopis; they have also found ways to manage the trees and turn them into a new form of livelihood.
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Comments so far

Happy to see in Afar region use of Prosopis pods as livestock feed as well as for ethanol started. I suggest that Pallida is most suitable for ethanol as it has high sugar content & also thornless. India is making coffee from Pjuliflora.
posted by: Dr LNHarsh (07:07:51 Tue 8th January 2013)

The Prpgramme is Successful because it is Farmer/Owner Initiative[Bottom Up Approach]
posted by: Patrick M Makungu (07:25:29 Wed 12th December 2012)

The article does not mention that Prosopis is a legume tree that fixes N, and has deep root. Therefore it can adapt to poor soils, but it will also increase soil N. It just needs to me managed.
posted by: Eduardo Schroder (00:10:18 Sun 5th August 2012)

Great initiative! We also have a Prosopis problem in South Africa - perhaps the added value ideas can be adopted here as well.
posted by: Prof Schalk Louw (08:08:56 Fri 3rd August 2012)

Very encouraging results. We are having similar activities in Kenya on Prosopis and communities who were previously negative on the tree are now embracing its advantages. Thousands are now making a living through charcoal and livestock feeds
posted by: Simon Choge (08:01:30 Fri 3rd August 2012)

Well done. Good to design ways for the sustainability of results by the communities them selves with out external support. Otherwise, it will be a one time job and back to square one when the project funding ends.
posted by: Sisay Kassahun (13:58:16 Thu 26th July 2012)



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