Farmers in Senegal learn to respect a scruffy shrub that gets no respect

A Guiera senegalensis shrub grows in an agricultural test plot outside Thiès, Senegal. The shrubs used to be considered a threat to other crops. Now American and Senegalese researchers are conducting studies to see if the shrubs in fact are beneficial.

For decades, they’ve been told to rip out the Guiera senegalensis shrub. But now there’s a new philosophy: The scrappy green plant could be the key to a better harvest.

(Image credit: Nick Roll for NPR)

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