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Unique Acacia Tree Could Nourish Soils And Life In Africa

by Pat Coate | September 04, 2009
"There is sufficient research on both sides to warrant dramatically scaling-up the planting of this tree on farms across Africa through extension programs."
- Dennis Garrity, Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre

Scientists have said at the 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry that a type of acacia tree with an unusual growth habit -- unlike virtually all other trees -- holds particular promise for farmers in Africa as a free source of nitrogen for their soils that could last generations.

With its nitrogen-fixing qualities, the tall, long-lived acacia tree, Faidherbia albida (Mgunga in Swahili) could limit the use of fertilizers; provide fodder for livestock, wood for construction and fuel wood, and medicine through its bark, as well as windbreaks and erosion control to farmers across sub-Saharan Africa.

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