Agroforestry paradigms

  • Agroforestry as a word enters its fifth decade, as a practice it is as old as agriculture
  • Definitions of agroforestry have evolved during the first four decades from plot- to landscape- and policy-level concepts
  • Agroforestry can be understood at these three scales as interactions, interfaces and synergy between agricultural and forestry components
  • Agroforestry has its roots in farmer-focused learning loops supported by formal science

“The existence of large numbers of people in the fragile ecosystems of the developing world, and the fact that these ecosystems occupy the greater proportion of the land of the developing economies suggest that means must be devised which will assist in increasing the productivity of these ecosystems while at the same time either rehabilitating them or arresting the process of degradation. Agroforestry is a system of land management which seems to be suitable for these ecologically brittle areas. It combines the protective characteristics of forestry with the productive attributes of both forestry and agriculture. It conserves and produces.“
(King 1978)1.

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