A Learning & Observatory Network For Shrub-Based Farming in West Africa


Who are we?

The Agro-Shrub Alliance provides on-farm research and technical training on shrub-based farming to smallholder farming families across the West African Sahel.

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Shrub-Based Farming

involves increasing the number of indigenous shrubs in farmers’ fields considerably, and incorporating pruned shrub residue into the soil. This results in significantly improved yields and regenerated landscapes.




How to Manage Indigenous Shrubs for
Improved Yields and Soil Health


Using Local Resources to Improve Food Security



Elegant and simple solution for the ecological and food security challenges of the Sahel using two native shrubs found from Senegal to Chad.

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Guiera senegalensis

Guiera senegalensis, pictured left, is native to the northern regions of the Sahel where:

The average annual rainfall is 300mm

The average annual temperature is 3°c.


Piliostigma Reticulatum

Piliostigma Reticulatum, pictured right, is native
to the southern regions of the Sahel where:

The average annual rainfall is 750mm per year

The average annual temperature is 32°c.


Distribution of Guiera Senegalensis and
Piliostigma Reticulatum

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Benefits of Shrub-Based Farming

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Deep tap roots lift water from the wet subsoil to the surface (hydraulic lift) where it is released to surrounding crops.


Better Soil

Shrub intercropping results in increased water holding capacity, soil organic matter and the overall soil health.

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Assists Food Crops

The shrubs do not compete with crops and they help to create microbial diversity and nutrient availability.

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Improved Yields

This system helps to decrease the days to crop maturity by 15 days.

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