Thursday, January 7, 2016

Persistence that yields results

Muna IsmailThe commitment of Muna Ismail, originally from Somalia, to restore farmer’s livelihoods in dry areas is resulting in pioneering work.

In 2011 there was a massive drought in the Horn of Africa. The worst in 60 years and millions of people were affected across the region. There was a serious food crisis in Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya; all within the Somali inhabited areas. A hundred thousand fled from Southern Somalia in search of food and severe malnutrition led to a large number of deaths

At that time Muna got her doctorate degree from King’s College in the UK. Yeheb was one of the plants she studied. She came to know it as a unique dry-land wild and domesticated crop, that needs minimum inputs in terms of labour i.e. a man and his wife can manage about eight hectares of land to give a twice a year harvest.

The more she read about Yeheb, the more she was convinced that this plant could be a part of the future for food security in the arid lands of the Horn of Africa.

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