Agroforestry in the Sahel – Looking back on Past Project Work – The SRAAD Project

Our socioeconomic and agroforesty work in the eastern and western Sudan was able to verify data on multipurpose use of A. senegal  [now renamed Senegalia senegal] and on  other woody species – as well as on related agroforestry practices and specific problems being encountered.

The project [was] composed of two distinct, yet interrelated components: The Resource Inventory Component and the Resource Rehabilitation Component.

The Resource Inventory Component employed innovative geographic and cartographic techniques, based on satellite imagery, to inventory the natural resources of a large part of Southern Darfur and Southern Kordofan. This effort generates base maps for the area which are used to organize and assess information on woody vegetation and a data base to devise forestry development strategies in these areas. The Resource Rehabilitation Component of the SRAAD project operates in a smaller area corresponding to the administrative region of five Rural Councils in Southern Kordofan.

The second component was based upon utilizing specific information generated by the Resource Inventory Component, combined with the results of a household survey conducted in the five Rural Council areas, to design forest management and development plans and to introduce rehabilitation activities. The rehabilitation activities utilize appropriate reforestation and agroforestry techniques.

The rehabilitation activity includes a detailed study of local conditions and the collection of baseline data from ethnobotanical and socioeconomic surveys. This component and the inventory of the SRAAD Project are designed to provide planning data for reforestation activity in parts of Darfur and Kordofan Province.

Source – Procedures Handbook

Of great concern on the part of local inhabitants were increasing attempts both by government and private persons and groups to take over large swaths of these Acacia-rich lands.

Further details on our work can be found here –

Here is a brief listing of the various uses to which this important Sahelian tree is put:

Gum arabic
The tree is of great economic importance for the gum arabic it produces to be is used as a food additive, in crafts, and as a cosmetic. The gum is drained from cuts in the bark, and an individual tree will yield 200 to 300 grams. Seventy percent of the world’s gum arabic is produced in Sudan.
New foliage is very useful as forage.
Dried seeds are used as food by humans.
[Gum arabic has traditionally been used as a tasty food in the Sahel]
Like other legume species, S. senegal fixes nitrogen within Rhizobia or nitrogen-fixing bacteria living in root nodules.
This nitrogen fixation enriches the poor soils where it is grown, allowing for the rotation of other crops in naturally nutrient-poor regions.
Acacia_senegal_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-004.  Source - Wikipedia

Acacia senegal, in Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen-004. Source – Wikipedia

Traditional [medicinal] uses
It is reportedly used as for its astringent properties, to treat bleeding, bronchitis,diarrhea, gonorrhea, leprosy, typhoid fever and upper respiratory tract infections.
Roots near the surface of the ground are quite useful in making all kinds of very strong ropes and cords. The tree bark is also used to make rope.
Handles for tools, parts for weaving looms.

Source – Wikipedia

About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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3 Responses to Agroforestry in the Sahel – Looking back on Past Project Work – The SRAAD Project

  1. Pingback: What Samuel Baker, Explorer, Can tell Us about Gum Arabic 1 of 3 | DIANABUJA'S BLOG: Africa, The Middle East, Agriculture, History and Culture

  2. ritaroberts says:

    What a versatile tree the Gum tree is Diana. Very interesting post Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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