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Exploring the Benefits of Agroforestry Systems

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Sierra Gillies

on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of Exploring the Benefits of Agroforestry Systems

Exploring the Benefits of Agroforestry

What is Agroforestry?
the combination of trees and a form of agriculture (crops or livestock or both) within the same area
Traditional Practice of Agroforestry
The concept of agroforestry in the Andean highlands dates back hundreds of years.

Since then, much research has been dedicated to developing new techniques and models of agroforestry that maximize:
plant and animal growth,
environment health for future use,
cooperation within the community, and
income for community members
Why are new techniques important?
Main Threat to the Environment
in Tropical Regions

Model of 3 different
agroforestry systems
Agriculture Crops + Forest Crops
Alley cropping (most popular)
trees are planted in rows and agriculture crops are
planted between the rows of the trees
Why use this system?
Tree prunings used as mulch
prevents weeds
provides nutrients for the agriculture crop
eliminates use of external input (fertilizer/manure)
increases nutrient rich material within the soil
Why are trees so useful?
roots hold
onto the soil
pump nutrients
from deeper in
the soil
shade for
maintain soil
and moisture
absorb lots of sunlight for energy
provide fruit/nuts
or valuable wood
for personal
trees regulate soil temperature and moisture for crops
trees protect crops from wind and intense storm events
removes dependance on one crop and diversifies income sources
stabilize soil on slopes
Forest Crops + Livestock Grazing
Agriculture Crops + Forest Crops
+ Livestock Grazing
Climate change is producing different patterns and intensity of temperature, precipitation, wind and storm events.

This requires better planning strategies to conserve the environment, including soil, water and biodiversity, for continued use in the future.

Need a healthy environment for healthy livelihoods.
Benefits to agroforesrty and having more than one crop
You as the farmer:
not dependent on the success of one crop
secure food and income throughout the year
less requirement on external inputs (fertilizers/manure)
work together as a community to trade different products (extra products can be sold)
Main threat: disruption of the soil

Poor soil conditions lead to poor production of crops.
Trees as Erosion Control
Trees have deeper roots that hold onto the soil.

Trees can help bind and stabilize soil within agriculture crop land and pasture areas.

The main cause of poor soil is erosion (soil removed by wind and water). Nutrients are also removed which reduces fertility in the soil.

Slopes intensify this process.
Examples of crop combinations:
Agroforestry methods can be designed to match your lifestyle and personal preferences.

We are here to demonstrate different systems by working closely with members of your community to gather input on what plants are most important to you.

We know that you may feel overwhelmed and have lots of questions but we will be able to speak to each family individually to assess their agroforestry opportunities on their property if you want to participate.

We will be here to help get you started and offer support for throughout the next year.
coffee plants + cacao trees
In areas that currently just have agriculture crops or pasture land, trees can be used to limit erosion
chili plants + cocona shrubs
Rarest system out of the three models

similar to other two models
use animals that are not going to eat or trample agriculture crops (chickens/geese)
Benefits of this system:
trees can be planted as high value saw logs or fruit/nut trees as long as animals will not eat the product
provide shade and shelter for animals
trees can be pruned and used as mulch to fertilize fodder (plants that grazing livestock eat)
additional income from trees rather than just used as pasture land
The combination of tree crops with livestock grazing.

Trees can be planted randomly or in rows with livestock able to graze in between.

Trees can also be used as live fences.
soil is more stable and erosion is reduced
more nutrients available in the soil for crops to use
increase the number of different species (biodiversity)
with increased health of the soil and improved health of crops, there is less need to cut down more trees access more open land for agriculture

less impact from insect/pest outbreaks
crops grow better because of better soil and nutrient conditions that the trees create
Benefits to agroforesrty and having more than one crop
Animals will be happy!
Our key goal is to work with you!
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