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Agroforestry: A sustainable land-use system

Agroforestry is an integrated and sustainable system of land use combining agriculture, forestry, horticulture, livestock management and agrostology. With the shrinking per capita land availability, agroforestry system with the integration of perennial woody trees with crops/pastures is most suitable technology for increasing total productivity of food, feed and fuel and thereby reducing the risk of farming. It also helps in more efficient utilization of sunlight, moisture and plant nutrients than is generally possible either by agriculture alone or forestry exclusively. Different agroforestry systems include agri-horticulture system where fruit trees are integrated with crop with an aim to provide food and nutritional security besides conserving the agroecosystem. In agri-silvi-pasture system, perennial woody trees are integrated with crop and pasture with an aim to provide food, fodder and fuel wood besides conserving the agroecosystem and this system should preferentially include animal component to enhance profitability. Silvi-pasture system is practiced where soil fertility is poor with low water availability and crops cannot be grown profitably. The system includes pasture with perennial woody trees to provide fodder and fuel wood besides conserving soils. Integration of livestock with silvi-pastoral system is essential to maximize economic return per unit of land. In horti-silvi-pastoral system, pastures are integrated together with horticultural trees for fruit production and silviculture to ensure fuelwood. Agri-silviculture system of agroforestry integrates crops with perennial woody trees preferably of fodder value. All these systems utilize the land mass intensively and synergistically with general increase in soil fertility and soil organic carbon with time.

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Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on March 22, 2010 at 11:09am
+1 Resourcefulness. This is a neat idea. Any idea which types of crop a suitable for forest farming?
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 22, 2010 at 4:03pm
I really like this idea, because it maintains diversity and allows humans to integrate and interface with natural systems beyond chopping them all down and creating annual 'disaster' crops that deplete the soil.
Comment by Luuk van Breda on March 22, 2010 at 8:05pm
Like the idea, but who is going to pay.Over the last 30 years we chopped more then we planted , nobody interfered.Governments change, people do not.The question styas the sam , who pays.Please advise
Comment by Pradip Dey on March 27, 2010 at 10:54am
Thanks Lola for your comments and suggestion to my blog post Agroforestry: A sustainable land-use system.
With regards,
Pradip Dey


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