The power of gao trees
Ruth Maclean’s article (Power of gao, 31 August), on the rediscovery of th e environmental benefits of gao, is exciting. Gao trees’ ability to control soil erosion, create a cooler microclimate, retain water, fix nitrogen to fertilise soil, and provide animal fodder and medicine would be a great blessing to farmers in the semi-arid regions of the world. Another great advantage of gao plantations is the possibility they offer of growing crops under the trees. Every gao tree is indeed worth 10 cows. Perhaps the major benefit of growing gao trees may be to combat global warming.
The poor people of Niger who rediscovered the benefits of growing gao trees deserve our appreciation. Bill Mathew