Ethiopia’s Omo Valley | Africa’s Last Frontier, National Geographic Magazine: Harvesting Sorghum

Above fields of sorghum, girls chew sweet stalks after laying out seeds to dry. Annual flooding not only helps farmers grow food but also renews grazing lands for herders’ livestock. A ten-day, artificial flood has been proposed to mimic the natural cycle once the dam is completed—a remedy critics say is inadequate.

The thick black earth resulting from deposits of floods can sustain two or three crop rotations until there is another flood. The amount of water contained in the mud cannot be duplicated with irrigation. This family is harvesting sorghum in the Karo village called Labuk.  Karo are sedentary agriculturists who practice flood recession agriculture on the banks of the Omo River in Ethiopia.

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