Salam Tree - Spate Irrigation Network

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Indigenous trees and their role
in rural livelihoods in spate
irrigated areas
Tihama Region, Republic of Yemen
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Tihama zones and their native trees
Zone 3
Zone I
Red Sea
Coast
Arid coastal lowland
RF: 50 - 100 mm/year
EC >3 ds/m
Stretch: 20 km
Zone 2
Mid-land to mountainous
RF: 300 to 400 mm/year
Arid/semi-arid lowland
RF: 100 to 200 mm/year
EC:1-2 dS/m
EC:< 0.7dS/m
Stretch:30 km
Stretch: 25 km
Zone 1: Mangroove, Dome and Nehal trees
Zone 2: Selam, Arack, Temariks and Haleg trees
Zone 3: Daber and Sedr trees
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Acacia Eherenbergiana
Selam Tree
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Some basic facts
 Most imporant & dominant

Land coverage: 22,000 ha (2005)
 Resilient to drought:





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Grows well in areas with RF < 150
mm/year
Moderately tolerant to salinity
High regeneration capacity
No dominant stem
Life span: 10 to 15 years
Tree height: 3 to 5 m
Length of thorns: 8 cm
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Major benefits
 Flowers

Most loved by bees
Selam Honey:
Thick and dark
 Selam Honey

Arguably the best

Used for famous dishes: ‘Fata’
and ‘Bit Al-Sahan’, (bread with
honey)

Cost: USD 30/liter
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Major benefits
 Leaves and thorns

Best feed for goats

Rich in proteins

Effective in goat fattening
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Major benefits
 Stem - wood

Charcoal production:
• Arguably the best
• Lits quick and stay lit long
• USD 5 per sack (about 20 kg)

Keteran:
• Fluid extracted from charcoal
• Cure for animal (goat, sheep,
camel) skin diseases
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Charcoal production process
 Cut tree, trim leaves, and burn
in a controlled manner, to remove
thorns
 Pile thorn-free wood in good
order
 Cover the piled wood with
sorghum/millet residues left
over by animals
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Charcoal production steps
 Cover with metal sheet and then soil
 Ignite wood through small opening – let it
burn for a week. After three days, fluid shed
by the burning wood (Keteran) can be
collected by inserting a pipe through the
opening.
 Close opening with soil, allow 3 days for
cooling
 Un-earth the woods, break them down and
pack them in sacks
 Sell on site or deliver to the market
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Words of caution and wisdom
 While charcoal prodution is source
of livelihood for some, it should be
conrolled:

Selam Tree coverage has decreased
from 44,000 ha in 1970 to 22,000 ha in
2005 (TDA records)
 “Iza Labu Sheger Selam, Labu
Alnob, Labu Alasel, Labu alkenem,
Labu Alakel” (if there is no Selam Tree,
there are no bees, there is no honey,
there are no goats, there is no food),
words of the old namdic father seen in
the picure
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Zizphus spina-christ
Sedr/Elb/Argh
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Some basic facts
 Second to Selam, the most
important tree
 Sparsely puputated - area
coverage estimate:10,000 ha
 Sensitive to drought

Requires 20 to 30 oC and
300 to 400 mm/year
 Sensitive to salinity

Needs EC < 0.7 dS/m
 Life span: 20 to 25 years
 Height of tree: 5 to 10 m
 Small thorns: 1 to 2 cm
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Major benefits
 Flowers:

As loved by bee as that of
Selam

Elb/Sedr honey -
Sedr honey:
Thick and brownish
• As good as - some say
better than - that of Selam
• Cost: USD 30/liter
 Fruits

Tihama Apple

Suplementary food

Mild sugary taste
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Major benefits
 Fruits
 Believed to cure kidney problems
• Boil fruits
• Thick juicy fluid will form
• Filter the Juicy fluid - drink at least
about 1 litre a day - you feel better in
few weeks
 Leaves and branches:
 Favourite feed for Camel
 Natural shampoo: keeps hair fresh
• Dry leaves
• Grind and throughly mix with water to
form thick green fluid
• Wash hair with the thick green fluid
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Major benefits
 Stem



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Strong, resistant to
termite species
Bed legs and frame
Yemeni people enjoy gat
(excitement plant) in
such a bed
Farm implements
• Plough
• Spade and hoe handle

Fishing boats
Jaafar Hassan Alawi Al-Jeffri, Director of
Agriculture and Extension Department in his
Eusha, a traditional hut where he enjoys Kat
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Word of Eminence
Sedr is the Selam tree to the highland inhabitants: it is
the most important contributor to their livelihood
Sedr, together with Selam, is a blessed tree in the
Kuran (Jaafar Hassan Alawi Al-Jeffri, Director of Agriculture and
Extension Department, TDA)
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Silvadora persica
Arack tree
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Some basic facts
 Easy to uproot - its habitat is being
constantly encroached by agricultural
fields
 Endangered specie – estimate is less
than 3,000 ha
 Resilient to drought:

Fourishes with RF < 150 mm/year
 Slow at regeneration
 No dominant stem
 Life span: 10 to 15 years
 Tree height: 4 -6 m
 No thorns
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Major benefits
 Roots

Natutal tooth brush
 Raw material for tooth paste
– export to Saudi Arabia
 2 cm long root costs
30 Yemeni rial
 Fruits

Green–unripe
 Redish when ripe
 Hot, spicy
 Supplied with almost every
dish
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Major benefits
 Tree as a whole

Effective in stoping sand dunes

Labelled as second best (first
being Haleg) defence belt against
sand dunes in the Munira village
trial by the TDA Agricultural and
Extension Department (see
elaboration on slide 26)
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Words of appreciation
 Profet Mohamed, may peace and prayers of Alah be upon
him, said:
“If I am not bothering you too much, I would ask you to
brush your teeth (using Arack) five times – that is before
each prayer time”
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Balanites aegyptica
Haleg
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Some basic facts
 Native to mountainous areas

20 to 30 oC, 300 to 450 mm/year
 Performed well in the arid Munira Village
(trial by Agriculture and Extension
Department, TDA)
> 35 oC, 100 to 200 mm/year
 Moderate regenation ability


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Moderately tolerant to salinity
Dominant strong stem
Life span: 20 to 25 years
Maximum height: 5 - 10 m
length of thorns: 5 – 8 cm
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Major benefits
 Stem

Strongest and heaviest
(Sedr ranks 2nd)
 Best for traditional beds (slide 15) and
traditional house poles
 Best for fishing boats (Sedr is second
best)
 Leaves and branches

Good Camel feed (Sedr is best, slide 14)
 Fruits

Small egg shaped
 Suppemtary food for children
 High protein content
One of the typical highland village huts,
all poles are from Haleg
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Major benefits
 Though native to highland
areas, survived drought
and proved to be the best
sand dune defence in
Munira Village (Arack is
second best, slide 20)
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Munira town gets life: thanks to Haleg & Arack
 Abondoned Munira Village houses due
to sand dune
 10 years back
Notice 3 layers in the wall – top layer
constructed in the past 3 years – still
little buried by sand dune
 Revival of abondoned houses
after 12 lines of Arak and Haleg
defence against sand dune
 Task competed by TDA 3 years
ago
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Hyphaene thebaica
Nehal (Date Palm) tree
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Some basic facts
 Habitat: coastal area
 Irrigation: September to March

Irrigation gift: 30 to 50 litres
 Interval: 3 to 4 weeks
 Fruit setting period: April to August

Irrigation stops
 Population has dwindled

5 million trees (1970)
 2 million trees (2005)
 Wadis reacch tree habitat less
frequently now than 30 years ago
 Groundwater table:
< 5 m (1970); > 40 m (2005)
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Some basic facts
 Moderatelly tolerant to salinity

Growndwater EC: 1.5 to 2 dS/m
 Moderately sensitive to drought

Fruits become small and less fluidy if
irrigation turn is 5 to 6 weeks

No fruit setting if irrigation turn is 8 or
more weeks
 Height of tree: 20 to 30 m
 Life span: 40 to 60 years
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Major benefits
 Fruits

Suplementary food: common in
romodan (Isalamic fasting period)

Date palm honey
• Debs: general arabic term
• Kitara:local Tihama arabic word –
slow continous drops
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Major benefits
 Complete construction of
a village house
 Special Date Palm baskets

1 basket: USD 0.2
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Kitara traditional production system:
Documentation in Riman Village
 Spread fruit and dry it

Traditional
• Simple spreading under date palm
tree on sorghum/millet (left over
from animal feed) layer
• Manually spearate good and bad
fruits – latter is used as fodder for
cattle, goats, sheep, camel
• Fruits dry naturally with air in 7
days
Bad Date
Palm fruit
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Kitara traditional production system:
Documentation in Riman Village
 Improved (TDA Extension)
• Nylon covered case with
various separation
compartments
– Better selection capacity
of good or pure fruits
• Windows for fresh air entry
• Small motor to suck moisture
• Drying period: 3 days
Person operates
moisture sucking
small motor
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Kitara traditional production system:
Documentation in Riman Village
 Fill dried good fruits in a sack
 Pack sacks tightly on top of
one another in a small
windowless dark brick-walled
room

Temperature: > 40 oC
 Squeezed fruits at high
temperature start dripping
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Kitara traditional production system:
Documentation in Riman Village
 Dripping black fluid flows on
Concrete floar and is collected in a
hole (traditional)
 Dripping black fluid is collected
through a pipe into a container
with a cloth filter on top
(improved traditional)
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Traditional Kitara production system
 The 170 to 200 sacks stay
packed for 3 months
 Final product: Nice black
Date Palm Honey
 Honey is usually collected
in 5 liter jerican
 The honey is commonly
sold in a 0.75 liter bottle
 1 liter costs: USD 5 to 7.5
Father Hussien,
expert in date-Palm
Honey production in
Riman Village
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Word of Appreciation

Date Palm is a major source of
livelihood for coastal people –
should be protected against wild
cutting by unskilled hand-craft
persons

Date Palm honey is better than
Almaraey (shepeherd) honey –
honey produced when bees feed
on flowers from variety of trees.

The above are words of Father
Hussien (seen on the right in
bottom picture) – lots of thanks to
him for explaining the production of
date plam honey
Date Palm Honey
Factory house in
Riman Village
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Dome (coconut) Tree
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Some basic facts
 Costal area plant, tolerant to salinity

EC > 2.5 dS/m
 Poor in regeneration
 Land coverage significantly reduced




2 miilion trees in 1970
0.5 million in 2005
Relentlessly cut for various hand craft
materials
Groundwater (major source of water) table
lowered from 2 - 5m (1970) to > 35 m
(2005)
 Moderately tolerant to drought
 Dominat stem
 Height of tree: 15 to 30 m
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
Major benefits
 Fruits




supplementary food
Top hard and rough layer is
removed by colliding two fruits or
using a stone
Layer beneath the cover is stif but
delciious, it is eaten raw
Interiror layer is a hard shell ,
childred use it for a swirling ball
game.
 Leaves

Various hand crafts
•
•
•
•
Shopping baskets
Prayer mat
Bed sheets
Sun protection hut
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Major benefits
 Khel – Vinegar

Salad dressing
 Soup
 Procedure to make Khel

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Make a cut at the juncture between stem
and leaves
Tie a container just below the cut to collect
continously dripping thin liquid
Add yeast to the liquid and let it stay for 40
days - it becomes strongly alcoholic with a
flavour of vinegar
Dilute it with an equal volume of water
Usually sold in small bottles (0.3 l)
for USD 5 per bottle
Note:
Actual Photo/Video
documentation can be
done in March/April
when Khel is actually
being produced
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Tamarix
Athel
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Some basic facts
 Resilient to drought:

RF < 150 mm/year

Temperature > 35 oC
 Moderately tolerant to salinity
 Poor regeneration capacity
 Dominant stem
 Height of tree: 5 to 15 m
 Life span: 15 to 25 years
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Major benefits
 Fence for agricultura area
 Perfect good looking hut roofs
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Debora glabra
Daber
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Some basic facts
 Sensitive to drought

RF: 300 to 450 mm/year

Temperature < 30 oC
 Sensitive to salinity
 Very slow in regeneration
 Dominant stem
 Height of tree: 10 m to 15 m
 Lifespan: 50 to 70 years
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Major benefits
 Stem
Hole is drilled – store for farm
implements and farmers’ lunch
 Hole can be easily drilled

• Takes maximum 1 hour
• Outer layer (3 to 5 cm ) is
strong and stiff
• Inner part is soft
 Fire wood

Usualy dry old branches are
collected
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Word of significance
 Daber is persumably the
oldest tree
 It is long living tree

Have been playing under the
shade of this tree since I was a
kid. (words of the old father in
the picture)
 Daber is a home away from
home for farmers
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Avicennia marina
mangrove (Shura)
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Some basic facts
 Inhabits the Red Sea
Shores
 Very tolerant to salinity
 EC > 4 dS/m
 High regeneration capacity
 No dominant stem
 Max. plant height: 1 m
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Major benefits
 Best feed for camel
 Habitat for migrant birds
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With Special Acknowledgements to
Jaafar Hassan Alawi Al-Jeffri
Director, Agriculture and Extension Department
Tihama Development Authroity
REPUBLIC OF YEMEN
SpN and ILEIA Documentation
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