How 8,000 Food Forests Are Changing Africa

The Great Green Wall of Africa is a remarkable initiative. It consists of 8,000 diverse food forests strategically positioned—sometimes in peoples’ yards—to counter the southern advance of the Sahara Desert while providing multiple additional benefits.

How the food forests help

In addition to slowing the creep of the desert, each food forest is a multi-functional oasis and provides:

  • Food security and nutrition for locals, which is extra important during drought seasons
  • Diverse habitats for plants and animals to thrive. Crop diversity also acts as a shock absorber for extreme weather events, like erratic rainfall and intense heat, which are becoming more common
  • Temperature moderation: it can be several degrees cooler under the tree canopy
  • Income: Some families meet all their financial needs by selling items they grow and farm on just a quarter acre

Planet Wild, an organization spearheading these efforts, fosters ecosystem restoration and has become a beacon of hope for the region. The hope is to add even more food forests to further mitigate environmental challenges and foster resource abundance.

Building The Great Green Wall

The meticulous four-year implementation plan involves several key steps:

  • First Year: The living fence. The initial line of defence protecting the perimeter from wild intruders or aggressive winds
  • Second Year: Diversification. Encompassing a variety of tree species, fruits, and vegetables to diversify the land and bring fertility to the soil
  • Third and Fourth Year: Optimization. Grafting, pruning, and composting to ensure food production and growth even through drought seasons

The Great Green Wall is a testament to nature’s ability to rebound and repair. It offers a practical solution to environmental concerns and provides a lifeline for communities in the region.

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