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CIFOR–ICRAF addresses local challenges and opportunities while providing solutions to global problems for forests, landscapes, people and the planet.

We deliver actionable evidence and solutions to transform how land is used and how food is produced: conserving and restoring ecosystems, responding to the global climate, malnutrition, biodiversity and desertification crises. In short, improving people’s lives.

Agroforestry: A primer

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Design and management principles for people and the environment

Conventional agriculture is very productive. But high productivity comes at a cost: soil that is depleted or eroded, watercourses that are polluted or drying up, and a food system that produces 20–40% of greenhouse gas emissions. Many people now agree that we urgently need to transform the food system, including agriculture. Agroforestry, as a nature-based approach to production and land use, will play an important role in this transformation. Agroforestry is not new; farmers have practised it for thousands of years, and scientists have recognized it since the 1970s as a productive and ecologically sustainable form of agriculture and land use. But now agroforestry is suddenly at centre stage; it is promoted as a land-use strategy to support climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture and other goals.

Many organizations recommend or use it as a tool for restoring ecosystems – not only agricultural ones, but also forest landscapes. Although not a cure-all, agroforestry has great potential to contribute to all the goals mentioned above. However, agroforestry is not just a matter of adding trees to farms. To realize its potential, practitioners need to understand its principles. Agroforestry: A primer is a guide to agroforestry principles and concepts – and how to use them effectively.

Contents

Foreword

  1. Introduction
  2. Components of agroforestry systems
  3. Agroforestry systems as circular systems
  4. Principles of agroforestry design
  5. Co-design and establishment of agroforestry systems
  6. Planting material in agroforestry
  7. Management of trees in agroforestry systems
  8. From principles to practice: Key systems
  9. Stories from the front line


DOI:
https://doi.org/10.5716/cifor-icraf/BK.25114
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    Publication year

    2022

    Authors

    Gassner, A.; Dobie, P.

    Language

    English

    Keywords

    agroforestry, agroforestry systems, sustainable agriculture, land use, conservation, land rehabilitation, landscape conservation

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