Resource Details

Reforesting the Sahel: Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration

Project: Available at NO COST Manuals, Guides, Reports Ressources en Français - French

Cunningham, P.J. & Abasse, T. 2005, Reforesting the Sahel: farmer managed natural regeneration. In: Kalinganire A, Niang A, Kone B (eds) Domestications des espe`ces agroforestie`res au sahel: situation actuelle et perspectives. ICRAF Working Paper 5. World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, pp 75–80.

Contact Info

P. J. Cunningham,


  • SIM International, Maradi Integrated Development Program, Niger Republic


  • Available in French ICRAF

Species Info

  • Acacia albida
  • Annona senegalensis
  • Combretum glutinosum
  • Guiera senegalensis
  • Piliostigma reticulatum


  • This study describes the development of a simple income generating and self-promoting reforestation system called Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) developed in Maradi, Niger. FMNR is an agroforestry system based on the natural regeneration and management of tree systems from underground stumps.
  • According to the authors FMNR began in 1983 and has completely transformed the Maradi Region and has the potential to transform the entire Sahelian Region. Under FMNR farmers leave a certain number of shoots per stump and stumps per hectare to regenerate in their fields.
  • Three main phases of development are identified under FMNR. Modern clearing, New modern clearing and Every stump give a profit. It is estimated that more than 20 million trees have been naturally regenerated and pruned in the Maradi Region over a 17 year-period.
  • Under the FMNR in Maradi, the three common species planted were Bauhinia reticulata, Guiera senegalensis, Combretum and Ziziphus spp. Trees that do not hinder crop growth are the most desirable for FMNR.
  • Some of the weaknesses identified in this system are competition with other forms of tree cover, such as Australian Acacia and nursery trees; droughts decrease productivity and proximity to markets may limit the establishment of FMNR.
  • One of the reasons for the success of FMNR in this region is because farmers no longer see trees as nuisance weeds or crop competitors to one where trees are an important part of sustainable farming, improved crop productivity and income generating.
  • The authors conclude that FMNR together with other agroforestry systems have the potential to impact the whole Sahelian region and to provide a much-needed boost to communities.

Geographical Region

  • West Africa
  • Country

  • Niger
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