May 23, 2011

Removing the mesquite bush

The mesquite bush was introduced into Sudan in 1917, to stabilize the land in order to reduce the advance of the desert. It was planted near the agricultural regions at New Haifa [Atbara River,] the Gash River delta north of Kassala, and in Tokar region [Khor Baraka.]

The mesquite bush can grow so vigourously that it will take over agricultural land. It is hard to remove because it has large thorns on the branches, and because it generates thousands of seeds. Continued vigilance is required even after a plant is removed to keep it from growing again in the same place. Even if removed, the wood stems are generally thin, making mesquite undesirable for converting into charcoal.

Sudan Vision has an long article that points out the reasons why commercial removal of the mesquite bush was successful in New Haifa, but not successful in the Gash delta or Tokar delta regions.

At least three reasons for the failure to remove the mesquite tree are revealed. One is that land ownership was not identified. Another is that the mesquite had invaded huge areas of land, hundreds and thousands of feddans. [One feddan is a measure of size, just about equal to one acre.] And another one is that follow-up was not completed to ensure the removal of seeds.

Read the whole article to get a good understanding of the difficulty of farming in east Sudan. Photo from the United Nations.

More information on work in the Tokar Delta, including a 2 page paper on mesquite management.
Many North Americans buy Mesquite wood chips or flavouring to add to BBQ cooked meats.

No comments: