CIFOR–ICRAF publishes over 750 publications every year on agroforestry, forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy and much more – in multiple languages.

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.

A quantitative appraisal of selected agroforestry studies in the Sub-Saharan Africa

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The multiple ecosystem services and livelihood assets development challenges facing the world, including climate change, land degradation, and high poverty levels, have necessitated cross-cutting solutions. Such includes agroforestry technologies, where trees are integrated with crop and pasture lands to yield multiple ecosystem goods and services. Though an ancient approach to land management, agroforestry faces a modern and urgent demand for expansion to counter ecosystems-livelihoods imbalances in most regions across the globe. This paper sought to synthesize the dynamics and characteristics of agroforestry technologies in sub-Saharan Africa by adopting the systematic review approach. Eighty-six (86) agroforestry studies were reviewed, analysing variables such as the dominant agroforestry technologies, production systems, types of studies, and ecosystem services generated by different agroforestry technologies. It established that majority of the agroforestry studies are multiple (undefined) in nature at 36%, have moderately changed over the years, the dominant agroforestry study type is journal articles (59%), and they are mostly scientific in nature (57%). Further, income generation was the dominant provisioning service (31%), greenhouse gas emission reduction was the main regulatory service (31%), and soil fertility management was the key support service. Tradeoffs associated with agroforestry technologies, including increased deforestation rates, tree-crops competition, increased pests and diseases, and potential food insecurity due to reduced crop production were also identified. Barriers to agroforestry such as insecure land tenure systems and inadequate research development are discussed. Pathways towards increased agroforestry technologies adoption, such as creating a conducive institutional and policy environment, as well as developing business support services for agroforestry-related goods and services were identified. The study reiterates the need for increased agroforestry technologies adoption to create the ecosystems-livelihoods balances, with sufficient measures to minimize the potential tradeoffs.

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