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University of Khartoum (2005)

Mesquite Tree : Reversing the Impact Case Study : Toker Delta

ABDALLA, ASIM HAMID

Titre : Mesquite Tree : Reversing the Impact Case Study : Toker Delta

Auteur : ABDALLA, ASIM HAMID

Université de soutenance : University of Khartoum

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2005

Résumé
Mesquite Tree : Reversing the Impact Mesquite is an ancient name which means “Towards Abundance”. Mesquite tree belongs to the leguminosae family. Mesquite is originally native to Central and South America. The Mesquite tree has been grown in different countries of the World at different times. There are several species of Mesquite. The Mesquite tree ranges from 1.0-meter tall shrubs to 18.0-meters tall trees with brown twisted stem, flexible branches and long strong thorns. The leaves are bipinnate and the flowers are paleyellow. The roots of Mesquite grow deeply downwards in search for water up to 50.0- meters. Mesquite was brought to Sudan in 1917 from Egypt and South Africa for the purpose of combating dust storms and movement of sand dunes. The growth performance was not good where irrigation is lacking but it grew very good along the Nile, water courses and Gash and Toker Deltas. The Mesquite has created serious economic and environmental problems in these two Deltas, specially the loss of fertile agricultural lands. Several attempts have been made to eradicate the Mesquite, but with no tangible results. During the last decade, the socio-economic and ecological impact of Mesquite has been controversial. Farmers look at Mesquite as a monster that invades and colonizes their agricultural land. On the other hand, nomads consider it a useful tree that provides them with fodder and shade for their livestock. Toker Delta is one of the areas which have been invaded by Mesquite. The invasion has taken place during several stages. The total area of the Delta is 406,000 feddans. The total invaded area to date is 296,979 feddans, indicating that 73% of the Delta has been covered by Mesquite. At present only an area of 109,021 feddans remains Mesquite-free in the whole Delta, representing 27% of the Delta area. This situation has resulted in loss of agricultural lands, loss of job opportunities and migration of people to outside the scheme area. Several attempts were carried out in the Delta to eradicate the Mesquite, but unfortunately all have failed. As eradication efforts have failed and they are practically not possible, then it has to be stopped and the money wasted on eradication should be directed to investment on utilization of Mesquite products especially on products that are exportable. This thesis proposes three solutions to the Mesquite problem : 1. Prohibition of further spread of Mesquite in the remaining land of the Delta by immediate eradication of seedlings. 2. Immediate utilization of the present forests of Mesquite to produce charcoal and honey from Mesquite’s nectar in the future. 3. Gradual replacement of the Mesquite forests by plantations of endogenous or exotic species through the establishment of woodlots and introduction of Agroforestery.

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