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The case for evergreen agriculture in Africa: enhancing food security with climate change adaptation and mitigation in Zambia
Climate change vulnerability and food insecurity often have common root causes. Accordingly, measures that address these causes can reduce both problems at once. This is especially important for the many African countries that face daunting agricultural challenges. This ‘Inside story on climate compatible development’ by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network shows how Zambia’s Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) and the World Agroforestry Centre have been pioneering ‘evergreen agriculture’ solutions since the mid-1990s to address these problems.
Evergreen agriculture combines agroforestry with the principles of conservation farming, by integrating particular tree species into annual food crop systems. Zambia is using evergreen agriculture in two practices: maize agroforestry and conservation agriculture with trees. Both of these systems tackle the need to replenish soils in affordable ways using natural fertilisers; in short, re-employing old indigenous knowledge practices.