Greening of arid Africa: an update on “gao” trees

by Steven Langdon

Farmers in Niger and other parts of arid Africa are making their own “green revolution” — by expanding the cultivation of “gao” trees, also known as “winter thorn.”  Faced with drought and high prices for fertilizer,  farmers have grown over 200 million “gao” trees in Niger,  providing nutrition to the soil and retaining water from the scarce rainfall.

We provide a detailed discussion of this remarkable success in the agriculture chapter of our new book, “African Economic Development,”  published this year by Routledge.  Now the Guardian newspaper in the UK has published an update on recent developments,  along with illustrations of “gao” trees and their output.  The article emphasizes as well the contribution of the trees to countering climate change pressures.

Please see the attached article:


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