Populations in the arid regions of Africa farm in their deserts. These farmers are finding ways to intensify their farming methods and feed their growing families without destroying their soils. In places, the sands are actually retreating — even where rainfall is in decline.
The dusty and densely populated region around Kano in northern Nigeria is so heavily farmed it is called the “Kano close-settled zone”. Here farmers are planting cowpeas alongside maize in their fields, and tethering sheep and goats to gather manure for spreading on the fields. Result: more fertile soils and bigger crop yields without the use of chemicals or cash.
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