The little shrub making a big difference in rural Senegal
In India, its dried leaves are used as a hair conditioner; in east Africa it’s fed to livestock; Mauritanians smoke its seeds; and in rural Senegal, where it goes by the name of leydour, its medicinal uses are helping many make up for the agricultural losses brought about by climate change.
Senna (or Cassia) italica is a deciduous perennial herb that can be harvested year-round – one of the reasons its cultivation is catching on in parts of Senegal.
Farmers in Nioro du Rip, a department in the central Kaolack region, have traditionally grown groundnuts, millet, and maize, but recent years have seen revenue from these crops fall.
More than 300 women in three villages in the commune of Kaymor are compensating by growing the shrub on a large scale.