Desert Permaculture from the 15th Century

By newsbuoy on Sat, Oct 21, 2017 - 10:57am


Site location:  Le Souf, Erg Oriental, Wilaya d’El Oued, Algeria

Area of GIAHS: 52 911 ha

Population working for this system: 44 968 pers.

Topological Characteristics: non fertile lands with aquifers

Climatic Classification: arid desert conditions

Ethnic Groups/Indigenous People: Troude and Adouan communities

Primary Income Sources: agriculture, date palms


In the desert of Algeria, local communities have had to face dry and hot climatic conditions. Thanks to the groundwater deep into the soil, farmers have succeeded in finding dunes and water management to use and conserve it. This is how they have created the ghout system allowing them to grow food plants and livestock from the 15th century.



Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988

newsbuoy, I often look to African agriculture for inspiration and find many of their crops work well in the hot climate I live in (sweet potatoes, peanuts). The ghout system seems to be like an apple guild in that the article states (without going into detail) that a number of other edible plants grow around it. 

Pedrovsky's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 22 2017
Posts: 1
Some real fascinating stuff.

Some real fascinating stuff. Considering the fact that proper utilization and management of water will become increasingly important in the future as droughts intensify, it is always worth taking a look into solutions discovered by desert inhabitants that allowed/allow them to grow crops in such extreme conditions.

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