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Developing the economic potential of Africa’s drylands

29/09/2017

Action Against Desertification participates in regional conference of forest and farm producer organizations

Morogoro, Tanzania – Experts involved in Action Against Desertification (AAD), an EU-funded programme supporting Africa’s Great Green Wall initiative, took part in the second African Regional Conference of Forest and Farm Producers Organizations to learn more about the value chains of non-wood forest products.

Developing the economic potential of Africa’s drylands is high on the agenda of AAD, an initiative of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) implemented by FAO and partners to build a “wall of opportunities” for some of the continent’s most vulnerable people.  

Almost 160 participants from over 15 African countries attending the conference, held in Tanzania on 28 and 29 September 2017, agreed on the importance of innovative and inclusive business models to support the development of forest and farm producer organizations through, while also stressing the pivotal role they can play in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

With the support of AAD, 18 experts and producers from Great Green Wall countries and the Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA) learned from forest and farm producers about successes and challenges in developing value chains of non-wood forest products, improving business strategies and increasing market shares.

At the same time, experts from AAD countries such as Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, The Gambia and Nigeria worked together on next year’s plans, focussing on the development of ten different products, including fodder, honey, gum Arabic and oil from the Balanites tree.

AAD recently announced plans to restore 18 000 hectares of degraded lands in ten African countries next year. Read more on the second African Regional Conference of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations.