Meet Alhadji Bukar, an Eden farmer in the Tanout area.
14 years ago, Alhadji Bukar joined the Eden program and started to sow edible trees and bushes in his field. Today, these trees and bushes are well established and produce food, even during years where there is little rain. The Eden trees grow naturally and require no irrigation.
Every year, Alhadji Bukar sows new trees and bushes in his field, and because the different Eden species have different harvest seasons, there is always fruit around. His daughters are in charge of the Eden fruit collection, and every week, they sell a part of the fruit harvest at the market of Tanout City. With the money earned, they bring back spices, clothes and jewelry for the entire family.
Contrary to older generation who grew up in a sea of sand, Alhadji Bukar’s grandchildren do not know of a time without Eden fruit.
Since becoming an Eden farmer and seeing that it is indeed possible for the population of Tanout to revegetate their area, Alhadji Bukar has discovered many uses from the Eden trees in his field. Perennial Eden grass is used to make mats. Branches are used as building material and flexible ones are used to make rope.
In the old days, Alhadji Bukar had to go on a nine month long exodus after the millet harvest, hoping to find a job in the city so that he would be able to provide for his family in the countryside. Today, he can stay in his home village and enjoy life with his loved ones.
There is nothing as fulfilling as watching a whole population rise from the most difficult of situations and reach for a sustainable life. Eden’s solution is simple but it works. All it needs is time.