Agroforestry is now increasingly cited as one of the solutions to deforestation and the conversion of natural forest into other purposes, including agriculture.
Definition of Agroforestry
There are numerous definitions available for agroforestry, but in brief, these are two pertinent ones:
- A forest management system aimed at reducing the destruction or encroachment of human activities into forests while at the same time improving revenues for farmers in a sustainable way by combining trees with crop or animal farming.
- A land use system that combines the planting of hardwood trees with other crops or pasture trees and sometimes involving insects or fishes.
Types of Agroforestry
Agroforestry is basically a combination of three main components such as forests, agriculture and farming. Among the combinations are:
- Agri-silviculture, a combination of forests and agriculture
- Silvopasture, the integration of trees and grazing livestock operations on the same land.
- Agro-silvopasture, combining woody components (trees or shrubs) with crops and cattle on the same site.
- Silvofishery, combining forests with fish farming
- Apiculture, combining forest with bee farming
Benefits of Agroforestry
- It can produce timber and other non-timber forest products
- It can produce a diverse, adequate supply of nutritious foods both to meet global demand and to satisfy the needs of the producers themselves
- It can ensure the protection of the natural environment so that it continues to provide resources and environmental services to meet the needs of present and future generations.
- Its trees and shrubs can provide shade and prevent erosion and water evaporation