Pastoral improvements in the Hyphaene thebaica vegetation complex in Djibouti. Results, organization and methods of participation in the project by local people.
The natural palm groves of Hyphaene thebaica in Djibouti which constitute an important local resource as they provide a permanent source of water and contain Suaeda monoïca, Jatropha glauca, Lasiurus scindicus, Cyperus rotundus, Salvadora persica and Trianthema cristallina are suffering from considerable over-exploitation. Results of research at a 16- to 18-ha site at Dagguirou on seed treatment and germination in H. thebaica, the introduction as hedges, plantations or dispersed in the grasslands of the fodder/fruit producing species Acacia tortilis, Atriplex nummularia, Atriplex semibaccata, Conocarpus lancifolius, Pithecellobium dulce, Prosopis chilensis and Ziziphus spina-christi and increased utilization of local Cyperus laevigatus-Paspalidium geminatum grassland are presented. Results indicated that annual DM yields of 10-12 t/ha were possible from shrubby grasslands and of 17 t/ha from C. laevigatus- P.geminatum grassland. It was recommended that seeds of H. thebaica be removed from the fruit, soaked for 4-8 weeks until the cotyledon emerged and sown directly in place to give viable plants within 6 months. The importance of demonstrations with regular follow-up meetings/visits to achieve acceptance of these improvements by the local population is discussed.