Background and Scope: The word “agroforestry” was established in the mid-1970s to emphasise the essential and multi-faceted function of trees on farms across the world. Agroforestry, according to the current ICRAF definition, is “a dynamic, ecologically based natural resources management system that diversifies and sustains production for increased social, economic, and environmental benefits for land users at all levels through the integration of trees in farms and in the agricultural landscape.”
The purpose of this chapter was to evaluate and synthesise studies on the continent’s existing agroforestry systems. Furthermore, the study focuses on integrating agroforestry systems to long-term livelihoods, taking into account social/cultural, economic/financial, and environmental/ecological advantages, as well as identifying and presenting agroforestry concerns in Africa. The goal of this study was to determine the possibility for African countries to employ agroforestry as a strategy for promoting sustainable livelihoods.
Agroforestry systems in Africa were divided into three categories. Agrisilvicultural systems (crops, including shrub, vine, and tree crops) and trees with the following technologies: I Improved fallow/shifting cultivation; (ii) Taungya; (iii) Alley cropping (hedgerow intercropping); (iv) Multilayer tree gardens; (v) Multipurpose trees on crop lands; (vi) Plantation crop combinations; (vii) Homegardens; (ix) Shelterbelts and windbreaks, live hedges; and (x) Fuelwood production Silvopastoral systems (trees Plus pasture and/or animals) are the second category, which includes: Plantation crops with pastures and animals I Trees on rangeland or pastures; (ii) Protein/Fodder banks; and (iii) Plantation crops with pastures and animals. Agrosilvopastoral systems (trees + crops + pasture/animals) are the third category, which includes: I Animal-friendly home gardens; (ii) Multipurpose woody hedgerows; (iii) Apiculture with trees/Beekeeping; (iv) Aquaforestry/Fisheries; and (vi) Rotational woodlots. There was another important feature of sustainable management of natural forests and woods, which might be related to trees and shrubs, in addition to the three categories. The acceptance and growth of agroforestry systems in Africa is too sluggish, according to research, and this chapter discussed elements that might directly or indirectly impact agroforestry adoption among smallholder farmers in Africa. A review of recent case studies links poor agroforestry adoption and scaling up to a number of factors, including: I a lack of understanding of the benefits of agroforestry/ignorance of the advantages of agroforestry; (ii) delayed return on investment and under-developed markets; (iii) a focus on commercial agriculture; (iv) mass agricultures’ focus on using fertilisers and pesticides; (v) a lack of tree seed supplies; and (vi) (viii) Market restrictions; (ix) Inadequate extension work and research; (x) Lack of ability, knowledge, and awareness; (xii) Lack of interest; (xiv) Gender and age; (xv) Policy constraints and Adverse Regulations; and (xv) Policy constraints and Adverse Regulations As a result, pushing agroforestry on the policy agenda is critical and urgent. The following are the basic facts for choosing to develop and regulate agroforestry through policies: I To remove legal and institutional barriers to agroforestry; (ii) To promote favourable agroforestry outcomes; and (iii) To pay farmers for delayed returns. Africa might benefit from lessons learned from African and international agroforestry success stories. These lessons include that for agroforestry to thrive, four concerns must be addressed: I Agroforestry only occurs when it benefits farmers; (ii) Tenure rights must be protected; (iii) Agroforestry connects sectors; and (iv) Forest management standards must be strictly enforced.
Conclusion: In order to establish and develop packages of agroforestry systems in Africa, five imperatives must be observed: I It is critical to transition from traditional to modern farming systems; (ii) It is critical to shift from a sectoral to a multi-sectoral to an inter-sectoral approach to farming (Integrated farming); (iii) There is significant potential for small-scale forest enterprise development (agroforestry); and (iv) There is a pressing need for effective forest.
Cliff S. Dlamini,
Center for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), Botswana.
Independent Environmental and Agriculture Consultant, P.O.Box 7514, Manzini, Eswatini, M200, Botswana.
Please see the link here: https://stm.bookpi.org/CTAS-V7/article/view/6778