Guide Tropical Agroforestry (Tropical Agriculture)

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Structure and composition of cocoa agroforests in the humid forest zone of Southern Cameroon. Agroforestry Cocoa.

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Agroforestry systems may play vital role in mitigating climate change. African Crop Science Journal. Training guide on forest genetic resources. Dennis Garrity on Evergreen Agriculture. Agroforestry Bioversity Asia. Forests, Trees, and Agroforestry. Protocol for inventory of mapped plots in tropical forest.

Agroforestry Mapping. Global Forest Watch. Agroforestry Forests and Forestry. The Organisation of Small-scale Tree Nurseries. Tree Nursery Nursery. How we can make beef less terrible for the environment. Biodiversity recovery of Neotropical secondary forests. Agroforestry Biodiversity. Trees for the Future. Learning from past initiatives for expanding the scale of land restoration in Africa. Agroforestry Land Restoration. Methane production and emissions in trees and forests. Climate Change Agroforestry Methane Trees. Using a choice experiment approach to assess production tradeoffs for developing the croton value chain in Kenya.

Croton Biofuels East Africa. Trees That Feed Foundation.

Agroforestry Concepts in the Kauai Foodforest

Getting the word out about agroforestry: A case study on knowledge transfer in western Kenya. Farmers are cherishing their trees again. Trees deforestation. The Center for People and Forests. Agroforestry Key Resource. Coconut Farm Diversification. Coconut Intercropping. Tree Roots: Facts and Fallacies. Agroforestry Roots Trees. Agroforestry Sustainable Resilience. Agroforestry for Ecosystem Services and Environmental Benefits.

Agroforestry Systems and Environmental Quality: Introduction. Agroforestry in Kenya a field guide. Agroforestry Kenya. This publication focuses on low-input, self-sufficient, and sustainable techniques for growing food in the Pacific. The chapters cover a range of time-tested traditional agroforestry systems, modern agroforestry systems, local sources of soil fertility, pest and disease control, livestock, and getting started with planning and implementation. Specialty crops provide a rapidly growing economic opportunity for farmers and gardeners who are interested in diversifying their crops and who are willing to innovate their production methods, postharvest processing, and marketing.

This publicaton promotes high quality food, fiber, and healthcare crops grown in diverse agroforestry systems to provide family farms both subsistence and commercial opportunities. An essential user-friendly resource for conserving and expanding the use of trees. Among the plants of the Tropics it is difficult to find a family of plants of more service to people than the palm family. In fact, this family has been called the most versatile of all due to its many uses.

A better known family and still more important as a source of food is the grass family for the principal crops it provides, wheat, rice and corn. Yet the grass family has few other uses compared with the palm family. Why work hard to collect good seed? In agriculture, collecting seed from superior parent stock has been practiced for thousands of years.

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This technique results in higher yields and environmentally durable plants. This concept, however, has yet to gain widespread acceptance in forestry practice. To maximize yields and quality of trees for plantations, agroforestry, and other uses, the following principles for collecting seed should be observed. Specialty crops provide a rapidly growing economic opportunity for farmers and gardeners who are interested in diversifying their crops and who are willing to innovate their production methods, post-harvest processing, and marketing. This project promotes high quality food, fiber, and healthcare crops grown in diverse agroforestry systems to provide family farms both subsistence and commercial opportunities.

Nitrogen fixation is a pattern of nutrient cycling which has successfully been used in perennial agriculture for millennia.


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Focuses on legumes, which are nitrogen fixers of particular importance in agriculture. Specifically, tree legumes are especially valuable in subtropical and tropical agroforestry. They can be integrated into an agroforestery system to restore nutrient cycling and fertility self-reliance. Agriculture with mulch in the tropics promotes plant health and vigor; improves nutrient and water retention in the soil, encourages favorable soil microbial activity and worms, and suppresses weed growth.

When properly executed, it can significantly improve the well-being of plants and reduce maintenance as compared to bare soil culture. Mulched plants have improved resistance to pests and diseases. How to get started in this thick mat of weedy trees? What to do about all the huge clumping grasses in the pineapple patch? How to manage this morning glory vine strangling the orchard? Weeds are experts in the process of succession, and great soil indicators as well, so I always look to them to learn what is appropriate.

In re afforestation work we usually talk about the planting of trees. Lots of 'em. We should be rather talking about planting forests. Until our planting site has in it the components of the Mother of all plantations - the climax forest system - the "trees" we plant will always be weak and prone to exposure, disease and drought. He works with landowners, tree farmers, and professional foresters throughout the state on management of both native forests and tree farms. His particular interests are in restoration of native forests, silviculture of koa, agroforestry, and management of high value plantation timber species.

His responsibilities also include providing Conservation Technical leadership and direction in developing conservation technical materials for the U. Roger Leakey. He has undertaken studies on tree domestication, genetic improvement of tropical trees, agroforestry in dry and moist tropics, soil microbiology, vegetative propagation, with research projects in Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

Her research interests include documenting the history and status of economic plant introductions and crop plant collections in the Pacific islands. Ragone has worked extensively throughout Oceania for more than 20 years to collect cultivars of important crops and document their traditional uses and related cultural practices. She is developing the Breadfruit Institute as an international center to conserve breadfruit diversity and traditional knowledge and to promote its use for nutrition, income, and environmental protection.

She has worked extensively with farmers to improve on-farm income generation, particularly with Hawaiian Homesteaders. He specializes in silviculture, selection and breeding, and seed production.


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He provides technical guidance in the use of plant materials and is responsible for carrying out systematic selection, evaluation, and improvement of plants used in soil and water conservation in the Pacific. A specialist in tropical fruit cultivation and marketing, in Kona, Hawai'i.

Agroforestry - Wikipedia

He currently promotes farm product diversification programs based on seasonality in order to spread the need for labor. Professor of Horticulture, University of Guam. She specializes in germplasm improvement, conservation of native species, and agroecology. Scot works with diseases of tropical crops and fruits as well as a wide variety of native plants.

He oversees the TNC conservation programs in five Pacific island nations. Francis Zee. His responsibilities are to collect, identify, evaluate, maintain, utilize, preserve, and distribute important clonal germplasm for designated tropical fruit, nut, beverage, and ornamental crops. Director of Permanent Agriculture Resources and Project Coordinator, responsible for all aspects of planning, coordination, and logistics.

Since , he has worked in agroforestry design, management, and education. His projects focus on multipurpose trees that have economic, environmental, and cultural significance. He also directs Agroforestry Net , a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to empowering people in agroforestry and ecological resource management. The organization's internationally recognized publications have guided thousands of readers in developing agroforestry systems, ecological restoration, and reforestation on farms, ranches, homegardens, and conservation areas.

But there are exceptions. Homegardens are maintained in densely populated village landscapes, and dehesas are found well outside the tropics, in Spain and Portugal. Agroforestry is widely promoted, especially in tropical countries, as a way of reconciling multiple objectives within a single farming system, but it is important to recognize that just because agroforestry can work well in some contexts does not mean that it is the best landscape option everywhere for everything.

Agroforestry can also mean very different things to different people. Some of these perceptions are a long way from textbook definitions, yet these mutated meanings can have a great deal of influence as to what forms of agroforestry are taken up locally and what its actual impacts are on the ground. Although agroforests are not a substitute for natural forests, it might seem obvious that a diverse mix of native tree species is better for biodiversity than a monoculture. This is not necessarily the case. Where the yields of agroforestry systems are lower than those of alternative forms of farming, more land will be required to produce a given amount of food, leaving less potential to conserve natural forests.

In such a scenario, a landscape of diverse agroforestry systems might or might not be a poor compromise overall, compared to a landscape where the same amount of food is produced from less land, and a greater area of natural forests are protected. To understand if that is the case, detailed data on both yields and biodiversity need to be collected.

Metrics such as species richness fail to detect, for example, a transition from a forest with healthy populations of endemic species a species that is not found nowhere else to an agroforest dominated by widespread generalist species, which can adapt to a range of different conditions, and therefore can miss large changes in conservation value. Furthermore, examples of rare or threatened species being found in complex agroforests are not evidence that the agroforests are able to support those species in the long term. In my view, this is the area where agroforestry has most potential to deliver good outcomes for both food security and biodiversity conservation.

But it will not be enough to develop and promote the agroforestry part of the equation. Sparing land for nature will require not only that high-yielding agroforestry methods are promoted, but also that specific measures are put in place to ensure that natural forests are protected. NB: Question 8 below goes into more detail on the governance challenges relating to deforestation.

There are probably many places where agroforestry techniques would be an improvement on current practices. Certainly perennial crops — whether grown in agroforests or not — often offer advantages over annual crops in tropical climates, such as reduced soil erosion. However, it would be a mistake to think that what seems best for farmers is necessarily the most sustainable. There are often trade-offs that need to be considered. An example of such a trade-off would be where the tree species most favoured by farmers make up a small fraction of the diversity found in a natural forest.

Over time, farmers will tend to thin out the less "useful" trees and promote the "useful" species which often include non-native species that are typically of lower value to native insects and other biodiversity. The system will shift towards a mix of tree species that provides maximum benefits for the farmer, but will be of ever-diminishing value to other species.

An example of this is in the Western Ghats of India, where one of the trees most popular with farmers - the silver oak Grevillea robusta - is coming to replace many of the native species in agroforestry systems. I believe that in all main Brazilian Biomes, i.


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  7. The main cause of success is the farmer. Obviously other aspects count, such as market for the products, access to credit lines, extension service sensitive to this way of producing, organizational structures, etc. We plant it mixed with bananas and endemic trees. Several farmers have been implementing and managing these complex agroforestry systems, showing that it is possible to combine food production, income generation, and promotion of environmental services. In Brazil however, we have a number of challenges such as technical capacity of the extension services, adequate credit lines, market barriers, and even our legislation, in many ways prevent the adoption of complex agroforestry systems.

    For farmers it is very difficult to be different from their neighbors. Farmers doing agroforestry are still considered a bit weird in their communities. I would not say that is unsuccessful. The challenges that we have prevent the expansion of AFS. As he says, to improve the economic benefits from these systems they need to be enriched with marketable species. Thus, for the smallholder farmer trying to support a household on a small area of land, the trick is to fill as many as possible of the ecological niches in these agroforests with useful and commercially marketable species producing timber and non-timber tree products.

    In South East Asia these agroforests 3. Many of these products have traditional significance and so are important culturally, while others may be exotic species eg. The continuous stream of food and non-food products from these smallholder systems makes the economic returns much better than juxtaposed conventional modern farming systems. Having said that, there are also good examples from Europe and USA. This is especially important in Africa where modern agriculture has been least successful.

    I believe it is also crucially important for the mitigation of climate change.

    Agroforestry techniques in tropical countries: potential and limitations

    There are also examples of commercial monocultures being switched to agroforestry. Likewise much cocoa and coffee production is now from smallholder production systems that are agroforests. Ben Phalan: In many parts of the world, one of the key priorities for biodiversity conservation is to prevent the conversion of forests and other natural landcovers to farmland whether agroforestry or other types of farming.

    There are various ways in which this can be done, but it mostly comes down to land-use zoning. If done by governments this can include protected areas or forest reserves; if done by local communities it can involve community forests; if done by companies it can involve High Conservation Value areas within a commodity crop certification framework; if based on market mechanisms Payments for Ecosystem Services it might include individual agreements with landowners.

    In general terms, it is fairly clear that relying exclusively on changes within the agricultural sector to reduce deforestation is unlikely to be very effective. If farmers adopt high-yielding agroforestry without there being any specific protection in place for forests, then it is quite probable that deforestation will continue or even accelerate. So specific policies and incentives are needed to ensure that forests are protected.

    A common misperception of land sparing is that it relies on the Borlaug effect, i. Land sparing is not synonymous with the Borlaug effect. The assumption that I make is not that demand for agricultural land will fall, but that with high yields the need for agricultural land will fall, and therefore high yields open up the possibility of sparing land for nature. The question that I think is most interesting therefore is not the descriptive one, as to whether agroforestry has reduced pressures on forest, but a more proactive one: how can high-yielding agroforestry be actively incorporated into strategies to reduce pressures on forest?

    Roger Leakey: In both SE Asia and Latin America agroforests are generally found on the margins of areas of natural forest - a resource that is in decline worldwide, especially in Africa. Consequently multistrata agroforests are much less common in Africa and the challenge for agroforesters is to find ways of recreating an agroecological succession on degraded land that, negating the need to clear forest, meets the urgent needs for food and nutritional security, and then reduces poverty and delivers social benefits for farmers.

    In other words the need is to sustainably intensify the badly degraded farmland and deliver public goods and services like the mitigation of climate change and the protection of biodiversity. I cannot do justice to that work in a short comment like this.

    Suffice it to say that there are many ways in which trees can be integrated into farms and landscapes to provide benefits to farmers, local communities and to the local and global environment, including land rehabilitation, whether in drylands, savannah, montane woodlands or tropical rainforest. First there is the structural intensification and large export of biofuels from Brazil to Europe and on the one hand the agoforestry systems.

    Under these two extremes — agribusiness and family farmers — we have an immense variety of production systems. But in general terms there is a clash of interests between these two segments. Even though in the last few years we have seen many public policies to support the small holder sector, most of the investments are oriented to the agribusiness sector. Therefore, it is difficult to harmonize different interests.

    Ben Phalan : Agroforestry has actually been quite widely adopted in tropical countries. It is clearly an attractive option for smallholder farmers in some circumstances. One reason it is not more widely used in the West may be that growing multiple crops together makes mechanisation more or less impossible. Everything has to be done by hand.

    As long as fossil fuels are cheap and labour is expensive, that will tend to make agroforestry less competitive. In fact there are currently some interesting Public Private Partnerships in progress between local communities engaged in agroforestry and multinational companies. Two examples are the development of a new edible oil crop Allanblackia species for Africa by Unilever in partnership with local communities and other stakeholders in Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania and the cultivation of raw materials for car manufacture Daimler AG using new alternatives to fiberglass made from oils, resins, fibres etc.

    Hopefully agribusiness will see that the closure of the yield gap brings hundreds of millions, or even billions, of farmers into the cash economy where they will be able to afford agricultural inputs, so becoming new customers. The closure of the yield gap would also remove the socio-economic constraints to the purchase of the products of biotechnology.

    Agroforestry techniques in tropical countries: potential and limitations

    I would like to see the agribusiness companies putting their weight behind more sustainable farming systems based on agroforestry and what I have described as Multifunctional Agriculture. This might then create billions of new customers for fertilizers, pesticides and even some wisely applied products of biotechnology. I suggest that this mutual dependency with agribusiness means that agroforestry can help to mend some of the broken bridges in the agricultural industry and also address some of the disconnects between agroforestry and policy makers.

    Ben Phalan : I would tend to assume that where the benefits of certain agroforestry systems to farmers themselves are high, they are likely to have already adopted them. But some of the benefits of agroforestry — such as enhanced carbon storage and biodiversity relative to other farming systems — accrue to society more widely rather than to individual farmers, so there may be instances where it would be desirable to promote it even when farmers don't see a particular advantage.