SENRGy Graduate helps to promote agro-forestry in the famine-threatened Sahel
David Beaton, who graduated from Bangor University in 2009 with a BSc degree in Agriculture Conservation and Environment, is currently working in the Sahel region of Niger, Africa, for the Australian-based organisation Serving in Mission.
Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world with 70% of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture. Unfortunately, 80% of Niger is desert with the Sahel region being infamous for drought and desertification. The strain on agricultural production makes famine is a constant threat, with over 5 million people thought to be at risk from a lack of food.
However, the project “Sowing Seeds of Change in the Sahel” (SSCS) on which David is working, is seeking to work with farmers and provide education focusing on methods of re-greening the land and improving farming conditions. An important focus of the work is the use of agro-forestry techniques. Agro-forestry practices are seen as approaches through which subsistence farmers can replenish soil nutrients, produce food crops as well as fuel for cooking and timber for building. Information disseminated to farmers via training days and radio programmes. Furthermore, David’s work with the SSCS project is also linking up with other Non-Governmental Organisation and research groups, working to develop agro-forestry practices.
Publication date: 1 June 2012