Agroforestry paying off
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CTA. 2003. Agroforestry paying off. Spore 105. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47969
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore105.pdf
Farmer participation is giving a boost to agroforestry and, in turn, to farmer income and environmental protection. Agroforestry growing trees and crops together could be set for a bigger take-up by small-scale farmers.
Farmer participation is giving a boost to agroforestry and, in turn, to farmer income and environmental protection. Agroforestry growing trees and crops together could be set for a bigger take-up by small-scale farmers. About 3,000 farmers in the Embu District of eastern Kenya are working with researchers at the Nairobi-based World Agroforestry Centre (WAC), formerly the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). The farmers are planting tree legumes for use as an inexpensive protein supplement for their dairy cows. In western Kenya, several thousand smallholders are using short-term leguminous fallows to improve the fertility of nutrient-depleted soils. In Zambia, more than 10,000 farmers are using short-rotation improved fallows to restore soil fertility and raise maize crop yields. A major reason for the growing use of agroforestry practices in Kenya is that the techniques were developed "in full cooperation with the farmers," said Dr Qureish Noordin of the WAC. "Farmers feel they own the process; nearly all the trials were done on their fields. The farmers themselves identified soil fertility decline as a constraint to food security." The economics of agroforestry played a big part. "Trees can fetch the farmers a good price in local markets," said Dr Noordin, and this could encourage even more widespread use of agroforestry.