Nomadic Notes


TRAVELS IN WEST AFRICA

Posted in Niger: January 2010 by rain4sahara on January 6, 2010

I’m in Niger with my husband John Ahlgren — a rare treat to have him here and we took off to Togo and Benin for the Christmas holidays.  Always thinking of RAIN, we looked for people integrating animals and agriculture.  It’s environment friendly and offers people here, who are constantly threatened with food shortages, to have two sources of sustenance.  We did find poultry and fish at one farm — crops are grown as ingredients for  feed for fish or fowl, while the fish and fowl fertilize the crops. RAIN is introducing poultry into some of its school gardens this year and we compared feed recipes.

One farm had solar drying ovens for fruit and vegetables.  Another had a machine for canning tomato sauce.  Both are good ideas for both preserving produce — a necessity particularly in our remote gardens — and for adding value to our produce to increase profits.

Back in Niger we’re discussing these options and starting our programs for poultry in the gardens and Temoko – Niger’s system for giving sheep or camels to herders who in turn the next season give some of the young animals to another herder.

Here in Niger desertification and lack of vegetation are huge problems.  We’re planting trees at schools that students will tend while learning about the value of trees for shade and soil conservation.

Like the lion and the antelope we must get up early and get going each day to meet our challenges — and enjoy finding solutions.

Greetings to all!  In a few days I’m off to Agadez, our beautiful adobe city of nomads on the fringe of the Sahara.

Bess Palmisciano, Executive Director, Rain for the Sahel and Sahara

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