Recently released guidelines to promote agroforestry shows the industry is proffering solution to the world hunger, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), saying that this often neglected sector of agriculture combines forestry with agriculture is important to the food security and lives of millions of people in the world.
The FAO says agroforestry is an important source of local commodities, such as timber and fruit, and fodder for livestock, adding that with proper development, agroforestry could help solve hunger, land degradation and poverty.
Gerard Buttoud, professor of Forest policy at Tuscia University in Viterbo, Italy and also a key consultant to the FAO on developing the guidelines explained how agroforestry is a good system for improving production at the local level because it helps to arrange the agricultural production and the environmental benefits.
“It maximizes the production on the long run because it produces food under the trees. The trees are then used as means to sustain the land and the production. Also agroforestry is a very good system to adaptation to climate change because as a complex system it minimizes the risk,” he said.
Buttound said it is important to have a framework in which to promote agroforestry properly. He also provided insight into another use of agroforestry and he gave an example of a success story in Africa.
The Arabic gum in Sudan, for instance, he said, is known as the first category of parklands developed through strong demand from the market to have this kind of product.
"This resulted into a development of agroforestry which was really productive even in terms of money in this part of Africa,” he said.
For the farmer, he said that the benefit comes from maintaining the soil so it could continuously produce crops for a long period of time.
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