What is Agroforestry?

Apr 30, 2024 | Insights

Agroforestry is a land use management system that integrates trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock in a mutually beneficial way. It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, sustainable, and healthy land-use systems. By integrating trees into farming landscapes, agroforestry offers an array of benefits both environmentally and socially.

How it Works

Functionally, agroforestry works by positioning trees in such a way that they complement the crops or livestock with which they are integrated. Trees can provide shade, act as windbreaks, and contribute to the soil’s nutrient cycle through leaf litter and root decay. This integration can reduce the need for chemical inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides, as trees can naturally enhance soil fertility and help control pests by hosting beneficial insects.

Environmental Benefits

The environmental benefits of agroforestry are significant. Trees enhance biodiversity by providing habitats for various species of wildlife. They also play a crucial role in carbon sequestration, which helps to mitigate climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Moreover, the presence of trees can help stabilise soil and prevent erosion, manage water resources more efficiently, and reduce the runoff of chemicals into rivers and streams and in this way, preserve water quality.

Social Benefits

For communities, especially those in rural areas, agroforestry can be transformative. It enhances food security by diversifying crop production and providing additional food resources such as fruits, nuts, and leaves. This diversification can also act as a buffer against market and climate fluctuations and provide more stable income sources. Overall, agroforestry supports sustainable development by enhancing agricultural productivity while also protecting and enriching the natural environment.

What We Are Doing

Wilderness Gate, in partnership with FARM STEW and Organic Farm 7, is launching a 1-hectare agroforestry project in Mutoni village to boost sustainable agricultural productivity and environmental health. The initiative started with planting 800 fruit trees across five varieties in an effort to promote biodiversity and food security. With an emphasis on organic methods, the project uses natural fertilisers and pest control to preserve soil health. Additionally, it empowers the local community by teaching organic farming skills and agroforestry management, enhancing resilience against climate change and economic challenges.

The Mutoni village agroforestry project is the first of many planned in other remote parts of the country. These projects will revolutionise the lives of the communities in which they are established. We hope that you will take a moment to contribute to this project and help improve the lives of many through sustainable farming practices.

Projects

Learn about our efforts in various parts of the country.