ENTRY DATE: 15 April 2015| LAST UPDATE: 15 April 2015
Categories: Agriculture | Cropping techniques
Technological Maturity: Applicable immediately
Technology Owners:

Farmers – traditional technique, NGOs introducing technique

Needs Addressed
  • Food security
  • Strengthening of biological diversity
Adaptation Effects
  • Ecological benefits include diversity of habitat, diversity of species, prevention of accelerated erosion, maintenance of soil fertility and arable soil structure, flood retardation, weed suppression, increased slope stability and wind protection
  • Resulting diversity has benefits for pest management
  • Agroforestry enhances soil quality due to nutrient fixation
  • Trees provide shade for protection of humans and crops in the heat, which can reduce heat stress and parchment of soils and crops
  • The mass of trees can offer protection from naturally or climatically induced hazards, particularly in coastal areas
  • Food production is increased and more reliable: in combination with crops, trees produce an aggregate yield greater than many monocultures provide the insurance of a diversified reserve of foods should annual crops fail
Overview and Features

Agroforestry involves the integration of trees with crops and/or animals. It combines sustained agricultural production and economic development with ecological conservation and land improvement.

  • Cost of trees and inputs initially
  • Manual labour
  • Training
Energy Source

Manual labour

Ease of Maintenance

Requires ongoing maintenance and care, particularly in initial stages, but once established, are less time consuming to maintain than annual crops

Technology Performance
  • Have ensured agricultural diversification
  • Have promoted appropriate agricultural technologies and farming systems, both modern and traditional
  • Have strengthened agricultural infrastructure, including extension, credit, transport, storage, processing, and marketing; improvement of the nutritional status of the people
  • Have increased self sufficiency in timber and fuel wood
  • Have promoted social forestry or village-level agroforestry
Considerations (technology transfer criteria, challenges, etc.)

Requires knowhow and a detailed understanding of soil interactions

Co-benefits, Suitability for Developing Countries
  • Trees provide various cultural-economic resources, including construction materials
  • Nutritional and medicinal health benefits
  • Modern developers argue that trees take up space, compete with annual crops, require years to reach maturity and inhibit the use of some agricultural equipment such as the plough and mechanical harvester
Information Resources

Clarke, W.C. and Thaman, R.R. 993. Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability. United Nations University Press. Available from: [14 November 2014]

FAO, 2010. APANews. Asia Pacific Agroforestry Newsletter Series. Available from: [14 November 2014]