- Introduction and definition.
- Why agrofestry?
- The significance of scale.
- Agroforestry practices.
- Trees and arable crops.
- Trees, livestock and grazed pasture.
- Trees and animals without pasture.
- Plantation tree crop agroforestry and multistrata systems.
- Reliance on wild trees in agroforestry.
- Agroforestry as a science and in development.
Agroforestry is a term for practices where trees are combined with farming, as well as for the interdisciplinary subject area embracing land use systems, at a range of scales from that of the ?eld to the planet, that involve interactions amongst trees, people, and agriculture. Put simply, agroforestry is where trees interact with agriculture. There is a long tradition of agroforestry practice in many parts of the world, but it has come to scienti?c prominence, and has emerged as a major focus in international development, only during the last quarter of a century. The term clearly derives from uniting two subject areas, forestry and agriculture, which for a long time, but not necessarily for good reasons, were institutionally separated the world over, in terms of education, research, policy development, and its implementation. As such, agroforestry has been at the forefront of much recent innovation in both farming and forestry.
[...] Agroforestry research and development seek to improve rural livelihoods by producing more products of higher value from trees and associated crops or livestock, while conserving the resource base, in terms of ecosystem attributes like biodiversity and soil fertility, from which they are ultimately derived. Because of their large stature and longevity, trees often make important contributions to the sustainability of productive landscapes. The significance of scale At a ?eld scale, trees may be grown in intimate mixtures with crops or grazed pasture, or cropping or grazing may occur in forests. [...]
[...] There was also intensive, predominantly agronomic, research on a few technologies, most notably alley cropping pioneered at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and closely associated and sometimes confused with this, on contour hedgerows. This agronomic research was accompanied by conventional tree improvement of a few exotic, nitrogen-?xing, tree species, used in these technologies, principally Leucaena leucocephala and Gliricidia sepium. As a council, ICRAF did not have a remit to do research itself, but to coordinate research with national partners. [...]
[...] Agroforestry practices Trees and Arable crops Agroforestry practices predominantly involving trees and crops are known as silvoarable or agrosilvicultural practices. These include ?taungya,' where farmers are allowed to cultivate crops amongst young trees during forest establishment, and various traditional and novel ways in which farmers retain or plant trees in crop ?elds. Important examples include extensive parkland systems that cover much of West Africa, as well as savannas more generally around the world, where farmers retain valuable and predominantly naturally regenerated native trees in their crop ?elds, in addition to the modern technology of hedgerow intercropping (also referred to as alley cropping), where fast-growing shrubs, that are often nitrogen ?xing, are grown between strips of crops and periodically cut back to provide a nutrient-rich mulch to fertilize the crop. [...]