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Focus on... People and trees

Practiced by farmers for millennia, agroforestry focuses on the wide range of working trees grown on farms and in rural landscapes. Among these are fertiliser trees for land regeneration, soil health and food security; fruit trees for nutrition; fodder trees that improve smallholder livestock production; timber and fuelwood trees for shelter and energy; medicinal trees to combat disease; and trees that produce gums, resins or latex products.

As populations increase and food demands grow, people will need more and not less trees in the landscape for the multitude of services they provide. In this edition of New Agriculturist, we focus on people and trees and the benefits of growing trees on farms, the policies required to support these practices, and the value added products that trees can provide. Looking beyond trees on farms, we also feature the latest research on how forests benefit people and the impacts on poverty.

Evergreen agriculture: re-greening Africa's landscape

Evergreen agriculture: re-greening Africa's landscape

Combining tree plantation with crop production boosts food and income and conserves soil and water resources. Such 'evergreeen' farming systems have been described as the 'radical, but entirely practical, pathway to a reinvention of agriculture'.

Date published: September 2011

Carbon coffee - mitigating climate change in Mexico

Carbon coffee - mitigating climate change in Mexico

An innovative reforestation and agroforestry pilot project, that will generate carbon credits to help smallholder coffee farmers alleviate climate change, conserve forests and enhance their livelihoods, is being implemented in Mexico.

Date published: September 2011

Agroforestry's biggest problem: policy

Agroforestry's biggest problem: policy

Through its Agroforesty Policy Initiative, ICRAF is supporting national governments in reforming farming and forestry policies, which often hinder agroforestry development.

Date published: September 2011

New lease of life for 'tree of life'

New lease of life for 'tree of life'

Deriving multiple products through 'whole nut' processing of coconuts has successfully raised the incomes of coconut growers in several Asian countries. Now, some Pacific island communities have also begun to adopt the approach, and enjoy the rewards.

Date published: September 2011

Recuperating Colombia's Ciebas River basin

Recuperating Colombia's Ciebas River basin

Colombia's Ceibas River basin is rich in biodiversity, but has suffered deforestation and pollution. Now a partnership coordinated by FAO is restoring hope to local communities through agroforestry and other sustainable activities.

Date published: September 2011

Fodder shrubs increase milk production

Fodder shrubs increase milk production

Around 200,000 dairy farmers in East Africa have planted fodder shrubs, and are reporting an increase in milk yields of at least 1-2 litres per animal per day. Nine shrub varieties are now available for different ecosystems in the region.

Date published: September 2011

Do forests reduce poverty?

Do forests reduce poverty?

In order to support the design of more effective policies and projects to alleviate poverty in forest areas, the Poverty and Environment Network set out to gain a greater insight into just how important forests are for poverty alleviation and whether they can help lift people out of poverty.

Date published: September 2011

 

 

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