Cactus, the arid miracle
Cactus grows in arid areas where other vegetation fears to tread. Some species are found even at the driest place on the earth, in the Atacama Desert.
For a long time, cactus was considered a wild crop, best grown as live fencing. Then, commercial cultivation began in Yemen around 40 years ago, thanks largely to entrepreneur Ahmed Motahar.
In due course, cactus fruits came to be considered a delicacy, demand increased, new products (jam, juice) developed and value chains were set up. Profits have risen and the area under cactus cultivation has increased steadily.
All evidence suggests that cactus’ success in Yemen can be replicated in other arid regions. And that could go a long way towards managing water scarcity and improving food security. The latest post on TheWaterBlog (Cactus, the arid miracle) details this.
What do you think? Do you have any experiences with cacti? Please share them by replying to this email, or by commenting on the blog.
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