Agro forestry.

Agro forestry is the management and integration of trees, crops and/or livestock on the same plot of land and can be an integral component of productive agriculture. It may include existing native forests and forests established by landholders. It is a flexible concept, involving both small and large-sized land holdings.

Agroforestry has a lot in common with inter cropping (the practice of planting two or more crops on the same plot) with both practices placing an emphasis on interaction between different plant species. Generally speaking, both agro forestry and inter cropping can result in higher overall yield sand reduced operational costs.


Over the past two decades, a number of studies have been carried out analyzing the viability of agro forestry. The combined research has highlighted that agro forestry can reap substantial benefits both economically and environmentally, producing more output and proving to be more sustainable than forestry or agricultural mono cultures. Agroforestry systems have already been adopted in many parts of the world.

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The Benefits of Agroforestry.

  • They can control runoff and soil erosion, thereby reducing losses of water, soil material, organic matter and nutrients.

  • They can maintain soil organic matter and biological activity at levels satisfactory for soil fertility. This depends on an adequate proportion of trees in the system- normally at least 20% crown cover of trees to maintain organic matter over systems as a whole.

  • They can maintain more favorable soil physical properties than agriculture, through organic matter maintenance and the effects of tree roots.

  • They can lead to more closed nutrient cycling than agriculture and hence to more efficient use of nutrients. This is true to an impressive degree for forest garden/farming systems.

  • They can check the development of soil toxicities, or reduce exiting toxicities-both soil acidification and salinization can be checked and trees can be employed in the reclamation of polluted soils

  • They utilize solar energy more efficiently than mono cultural systems different height plants, leaf shapes and alignments all contribute.

  • Through water removal, established trees can substantially reduce water logging in their immediate area, which may result in improved land uses, e.g. pasture or crop.

  • Agroforestry can have immense benefits for the environment and the farmer (a detailed breakdown of agro forestry's main benefits can be found on AgriInfo's site). For farmers, the ability to maintain some sort of control over land and production in the face of climate change means agro forestry could hold huge promise for the agricultural sector.

  • pollution and Preserving forestry.

    By far the most serious aspect of deforestation is the destruction of tropical rain forest, where crops can quickly provide profit. The trees can also be profitable of course, as in Indonesia where toilet paper is being made from trees, removing the last refuge of Sumatran tigers there. Really valuable trees such as teak have been replanted in some countries. Thailand has many new golden teak plantations. This hardly compensates for the sites that can be seen as you fly over the remnants of rain forest.

    Mountains unfortunately don't support large trees, otherwise we could count on high areas for some protection from us. Europeans tended to live originally on hills to avoid the lowland forest, so we decimated even those few high places that could have been conserved in modern times. Later, in the 15th century, the tree was the basis of all of that magnificent colonization and warring on every continent, by virtue of naval power. (6000 oaks per ship were required by Nelson's navy.) There is no point in blaming our ancestors. Whether we can rebuild forest in a natural state is doubtful in many regions where so many species of fauna and flora have been lost.

    Water shortages on every continent are building up, and Africa cannot expect to regain desert, once lost. Trees of course make for a much damper climate, the water being essential both for us and the rest of the environment. The loss of rights for people is an alternative to this loss of this planet's resources on such a gigantic scale. With the intrinsic global warming implied by such destruction of carbon, international action is already forcing replanting as carbon offset programs. More trees and their forest soils especially, absorb more carbon and store it long-term. This is termed bios equestration, as described in the landmark Kyoto Protocol.