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J Environ Manage. 2011 Jul;92(7):1696-705. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.01.027. Epub 2011 Apr 1.

Dry land tree management for improved household livelihoods: farmer managed natural regeneration in Niger.

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  • 1Congressional Hunger Center, 400 North Capitol Street NW Suite G100, Washington, DC 20001, USA.


Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), a set of practices farmers use to foster the growth of indigenous trees on agricultural land, has drawn substantial attention as a contributing factor to a trend of increasing vegetation greenness in the Republic of Niger. This paper identifies drivers of FMNR adoption and assesses its impacts on rural households in the Region of Maradi, Niger, an area covering 42,000 square kilometers. The results show that 26% of households practice a form of FMNR involving both pruning and protecting woody vegetation. Adoption is strongly linked to soil type, market access, and the education level of the head of household. FMNR raises household income and increases crop diversity, household migration rates, and the density and diversity of trees on farmland. It is estimated that FMNR raises the annual gross income of the region by between 17 and 21 million USD and has contributed an additional 900,000 to 1,000,000 trees to the local environment. These findings support the value of continued promotion of FMNR as an inexpensive means of enhancing rural livelihoods and an attractive alternative to reforestation efforts relying on tree planting.

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