Land clearing for regeneration in Niger

Impacts addressed



Man pruning branches and lower leaves of a selected shrub in his farm. Photo: Permaculture Research Institute 

Local name of practice: Zamani Zourouyan- Dudube

Country/region/village: Niger/Tillabéry/Simiri


Tillabéry region in Chad is, similar to other parts of the country, experiencing the impacts of climate change. Drought is causing degradation of agricultural lands causing low agricultural productivity. Furthermore, wind erosion is leading to loss of soil fertility and loss of forage resources, and ultimately food insecurity and poverty. This endogenous technology is practiced in the agriculture, livestock and forestry sectors and is a climate mitigation and adaptation approach towards sustainable land management. Intergenerational transmission of the technology and community learning are the pillars that have led to improvement in technology, especially with the improvement of clearing agricultural lands in Niger. 


This is a technique that consists of identifying shrub and shrub discards during the off season, and to carry out a judicious maintenance to ensure a good regeneration of the selected roots. Improved land clearing is an agroforestry technique implemented by Simiri producers to cope with the adverse climate vulnerability effects and to deal with the decline of fertility of agricultural land and declining land and forage resources (need for human and livestock food, collection of firewood). The technology consists of identifying, during the off-season, shrub and shrub discards and carrying out a careful maintenance (pruning of branches and lower leaves) to ensure natural regeneration of the selected roots. This agroforestry practice contributes to the improvement of the progressive fertilization of the soil with the addition of organic matter and makes it possible to generate financial resources from the sale of timber and non-wood by-products. In addition, improved land clearing plays a role in protecting farmland against wind erosion. As it need only the knowledge and skills for the selection of native shrub discards and the pruning techniques, the improved land clearing for natural tree regeneration present a real potential for replication through similar degraded farms. 

Benefits of the technology 

  • Increase in farm income and sale of non-timber produced
  • Biodiversity protection, soil recovery and regeneration of extinct plant species 
  • Cleared clearing generates virtually no logging costs and is a solution used by farmers  to conventionally cope with loss of soil fertility
  • Providing possibility to obtain quality animal feed/forage resources (eg Combretaceae)
  • Additional income from sale of available stock,

Gender considerations

In addition to improving agricultural productivity and household food needs, the maintenance of the activity provides firewood and non-wood products to women both for sale and household consumption. Recognizing such valuable benefits, women of Simiri work closely with their husband to identify at early stage the appropriate shrub discards and to contribute to its maintenance. 

Potential for technology transfer and up-scaling

Improved land clearing has reached a maturity stage and is being replicated throughout the Tillabéry region

Involved stakeholders are: 

  • Farm leaders: replication of activities, training and follow-up of other farmers (champions) who want to implement this technology
  • Farmers (champions): implementation with the help of farmer leaders
  • Local authority/ leader of the village: sensitization 

Recommendations for technology transfer:  

  • Identification of champion farmers committed to replicating the technology at the scale of their fields,
  • Training of peasant champions on techniques
  • Follow-up of champions
  • Community capitalization of good practices in improved land clearing


Bello O. M. M. 2016. Bonnes Pratiques en matière de gestion des terres, gestion des ressources naturelles et changements climatiques, rapport  Intermédiaire, CILSS,  84 p.

Dramé A. Kiema A. 2016. Connaissances endogènes : les bonnes pratiques d’atténuation et d’adaptation aux changements climatiques en Afrique de l’Ouest, Enda Energie, 94 p