Green manure cover crops and agroforestry



COMACO Gliricidia/maize intercropping field. Photo credit: Christian Thierfelder/CIMMYT.

Addressing smallholder farmers’ needs with green manure cover crops and agroforestry in Zambia


Read the full story: Africa Rising

Agroforestry and Contour Bunding Techniques


Photo credit: ICRISAT

Farmers examine an improved sorghum variety in the technology park at M’Pessoba, Koutiala district, Mali. Photo: ICRISAT


Agroforestry systems for growing nutritious local trees and crops for feed and fodder, and contour bunding technologies for preventing soil erosion caught the attention of farmers attending field days in two districts in Mali. The events were organized by two technology parks to showcase and review innovations and technologies developed and tried over a period of two years.

Women farmers like Ms Mariam Sarah from Sirakele village were interested in technologies related to nutrition. Mr Kalifa Coulibaly, the Mayor of M’Pessoba, stressed on encouraging women to be more involved in the nutrition program. “The nutrition research of the Africa RISING project is very important to help our district address the problem of malnutrition. The technology park is a learning school that will help promote local crops and the nutrition field schools offer an opportunity to enrich and diversify the household diet,” he said.

Read the full story: ICRISAT

To upscale climate-smart agriculture



Photo credit: Agroforestry World

A smallholder farm in Tanzania. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Todd Rosenstock

Connecting research, practice and policy to upscale climate-smart agriculture

A group of women in Kamotony area in Kenya were worried that they were unable to provide food for their children in the face of climate change impacts. They would ask themselves, “Sasa sisi tutafanya nini kutoka hali hii?” What can we do to emancipate ourselves from this situation?

Their situation is not unique.  Like most smallholder farmers in developing countries, they face the challenges of food insecurity, poverty, the degradation of local land and water resources, and increasing climatic variability. These farmers rely on agriculture for food and nutrition security, and income. Climate change is a threat to this very important source of their livelihoods.

“If agricultural systems are to meet the needs of these farmers, they must evolve in ways that lead to sustainable increases in food production and at the same time strengthen the resilience of farming communities and rural livelihoods,” said Janie Rioux of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “Bringing about this evolution involves introducing productive climate-resilient and low-emission agricultural practices in farmers’ fields and adopting a broad vision of agricultural development that directly connects farmers with policies and programmes that can provide them with suitable incentives to adopt new practices.”

The term ‘climate-smart agriculture’ describes the approach that aims to achieve global food security and chart a sustainable pathway for agricultural development in a changing climate. Climate-smart agriculture is intended to increase farm productivity in a sustainable manner, support smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change by building the resilience of agricultural livelihoods and ecosystems, and, wherever possible, to deliver the co-benefit of reduced greenhouse gas emissions. On the ground, climate-smart agriculture is based on a mix of climate-resilient technologies and practices for integrated farming systems and landscape management.

The Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (MICCA) Programme

FAO, with financial support from the Government of Finland, designed the Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (MICCA) Programme to expand this evidence base and build climate-smart agriculture readiness of smallholder farmers. A three-year pilot project was also established to demonstrate that ongoing agricultural development initiatives could bring co-benefits in terms of climate change adaptation and mitigation thereby increase the uptake of climate-smart agriculture at significantly larger scale. Implemented jointly with partners in Kenya and Tanzania, the pilots promoted integrated and diversified farming systems and agro-ecological principles. The pilot projects linked research activities, practical work in farmers’ fields and policy making at different levels to enhance the effectiveness of planning and programming for climate-smart agriculture on farms, throughout the landscape and at the national level.

Read the full article: Agroforestry World

Agroforestry systems for adaptation to Climate Change



Adaptation to Climate Change (Micro) in Agroforestry systems

by Abhishek Mani Tripathi


Czech Globe, Brno · Biomass and water balance
Evidence shows increasing climate change, and a consequent alteration in physical systems of the earth. For food, agriculture is one of the main sources on earth but this area is suffering from climate change on a large scale. On other hand, because of industrialization deforestation is a major problem and limiting source of fossil fuels. Agroforestry interventions, due to their ability to provide economic, ecological, and environmental/microclimatic benefits, are considered to be the best in making communities adapt and become resilient to the impacts of climate change. Agroforestry can add a high level of diversity within agricultural land. The essential elements of agroforestry systems may play an important role in the adaptation to climate change, which include changes in the microclimate, mitigating climate change (reducing carbon emission and increasing carbon sequestration), improving soil fertility, and protect the soil erosion from wind and water. The role of agroforestry systems in the adaptation to expected changes in climate by slivoarable in Europe, smallholder (home gardens and parklands) farmers in sub-Saharan Africa (protect coffee from high temperatures) and large scale (intercropping) in India and China in particular ecological/microclimatic, economic and production services that communicate resilience to the impact of climate change. Agroforestry is a traditional farming system which is no longer popular in Europe but still being widely practiced in developing countries for example India, China, Kenya, Tanzania and Mexico etc.

The role of agroforestry in the future of Myanmar


Photo credit: Agroforestry World

Agroforestry has a long history in Myanmar but capacity of farmers and government agencies needs building in order to maximise potential. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Robert Finlayson

A new hope for agroforestry in Myanmar

The Government of Myanmar is enthusiastic about the role of agroforestry in the future of the newly-democratic nation


Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a newly democratic country. Centuries before, this country was rich in culture, natural resources and competent citizens, the latter likely influenced by the colonial government of Britain. Visiting the former capital, Yangon, in the rainy season gives you a sense of how green the city is, with the intense monsoon rains making you appreciate why the citizens wear sandals.

After decades of military rule, everything seemed to be possible when the country held a general election in 2015. Its citizens, especially the younger generation, seemed to beam with hope for a bright and prosperous future, as the country had been economically far behind neighbouring Southeast Asian countries. Being sandwiched between the two giants of Asia—China and India—can, in my opinion, be both a blessing and a curse, as the country wants to stand on its own feet but still relies heavily on foreign investment.

The former military government forced universities to be scattered all over the country to prevent students from staging protests in the former capital. About 30 minutes from the current capital, Nay Pyi Daw, more than 370 km north of Yangon, there are three universities: Yezin Agricultural University; Yezin University of Forestry; and the University of Veterinary Science, Yezin. The current political situation should allow clever minds in these universities to blossom and help steer the country in the right direction.

Read the full article: Agroforestry World

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.


Photo by Ollivier Girard

Balancing transparency and non-State Actors in climate negotiations

By Stephen Leonard, originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News 

In the lead-up to the first formal UNFCCC Subsidiary Body meeting since the Paris Agreement (PA), there was palpable anticipation as to what the meeting would bring in terms of substance and in driving implementation.

We see this focus on implementation more and more, both in the context of the PA as well as for REDD+ and other climate actions. There also appears to be a correlation between the emphasis on implementation and the reliance on the private sector and other non-state actors (NSAs).

The incoming Moroccan COP Presidency made it clear in Bonn during the May conference that COP 22 will be seeking “more meaningful participation of non-state actors, which was endorsed by the United States. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has alsoreceived a mandate to enhance its engagement with the private sector on the subject of REDD+ through its own private sector facility.

This increasing emphasis on NSAs will provide an interesting new dynamic in the climate negotiations. At Bonn, we saw a glimpse of the things to come in the Closing Plenary of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation on the subject of conflicts of interest and access of NSAs to the process.

Ecuador sought to intervene on a decision on the subject, but a technical system failure prevented them from doing so. This bizarre incident created a rare series of interventions on the subject of the role of NSAs in the climate negotiations and drew out the importance of transparency and the need for the UNFCCC to put in place a policy concerning NSAs and conflicts of interest.

Read the full article: Forests, Trees and Agroforestry

‘Trees for Food Security Project’


Photo credit: World Agroforestry Center

Catherine Muthuri describes the activities of the Batu Rural Resource Centre in Ziway, Ethiopia during the Trees for Food Security project review


Tuesday, August 2, 2016


From 15-24 April 2016, the Improving Sustainable Productivity in Farming Systems and Enhanced Livelihoods through Adoption of Evergreen Agriculture in Eastern Africa project, known as ‘Trees for Food Security Project’-T4FS in short, underwent an end-of-project review as part of the winding up of the first phase of the project. This is an Au$ 5.5 million Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) funded project operating in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi started in June 2012 The process initiated by ACIAR the funding institution was to gauge and understand the progress, success, and impacts of the project after nearly four years of implementation.

It also provided recommendations that are useful in enriching the second phase of the project. The review was carried out in Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda where it was implemented. The Burundi project coordinator, Claudette Nkurunziza travelled to Rwanda to participate in the review.

Read the full story: World Agroforestry Center

A joint income generating platform through nurseries


Photo credit: World Agroforestry Center


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Other authors: Joel Buyinza

A number of women in Manafwa District, Uganda, sought to establish a group that would create a joint income generating platform through nurseries, dubbed Elgon Trust Women group. The group started with 8 members and currently has 22members. Challenges arising from harsh weather conditions (mainly having to carry water from a steam to water the seedlings during the dry season) and lack of support from husbands forced some members to opt out. However, knowing the benefits of trees in curbing soil erosion, which was a prevalent challenge in the area, encouraged the remaining members to stay on, doing the best they could. The group also allows the enrolment (hires) of young men who mainly assist in fetching water to water the seedlings during the dry season. Carolyne, the group leader, highlighted that the Trees for Food Security (T4FS) Project reversed the named challenges through supply of quality seeds and trainings on potting, nursery management, and suitable tree species based on their needs and record keeping.

Read the full story: World Agroforestry Center

Agroforestry benefits both farmers and the environment.

Photo credit: Food Tank

Food Tank highlights 16 agroforestry projects that are benefiting farmers, communities, and the environment. –

Using Agroforestry to Save the Planet

According to a recent report by Biodiversity International, the Center for International Forestry Research, the World Agroforestry Centre, and Charles Sturt University, forests contribute to the livelihoods of more than 1.6 billion people. Yet, 30 percent of the world’s forests are used primarily for the production of wood products.

Agroforestry is defined as the integration of trees and shrubs into crop and animal farming systems. These practices can help landowners diversify products and create social, economic, and environmental benefits.

Trees and forests provide more than just food—they can enhance soils, protect biodiversity, preserve precious water supplies, and even help reduce the impacts of climate change.

According to the World Agroforestry Centre, agroforestry is uniquely suited to address the need to grow more food and biomass for fuel while sustainably managing agricultural landscapes for the critical ecosystem services they provide.

Agroforestry efforts in Niger, for example, have resulted in 200 million trees being planted on over 5 million hectares of farmland. This has impacted an estimated 2.5 million people by improving soil, increasing yields, and creating resilience against climate change.

This week, Food Tank is highlighting 16 organizations and projects that are using agroforestry principles to bring benefits to farmers, communities, and the environment

Read the full article: Food Tank

Empowering smallholders



FTA at Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit: Empowering smallholders

Originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News

Mediating the push and pull of agricultural expansion and conservation is no easy task. Add to that smallholders – who play a crucial role in producing agricultural commodities but whose economic disenfranchisement can incline to unsustainable practices – and the situation becomes even more complex.

With increasing corporate commitments to eliminate deforestation from supply chains, the integral, and precarious, situation of smallholders must be addressed. But how can companies help to empower them, disincentivizing deforestation and unsustainable practices? What must government, civil society and the financial sector do? And, what would a successful smallholder empowerment project look like?

Read the full story: Forests, Trees, Agroforestry


Tree cover on agricultural land and carbon budgets


Photo credit: Agroforestry World

Faidherbia and tomatoes on a farm in Salima District, Malawi. Photo by Tracy Beedy/World Agroforestry Centre

Trees on farms: the missing link in carbon accounting


While tropical forests continued to decline, a remarkable change is happening: tree cover on agricultural land has increased across the globe, capturing nearly 0.75 Gigatonnes carbon dioxide every year. A new study titled Global Tree Cover and Biomass Carbon on Agricultural Land: The contribution of agroforestry to global and national carbon budgets provides insights into the patterns of this tremendous change at global, regional and national scales.

According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), agriculture and land-use change account for about 24% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change will also have strong impacts on food security in the long-term. Therefore agriculture needs to reduce its climate footprint. But a recent study has shown that the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from crop and livestock production is limited. At the same time, large forest areas, primarily in the tropics, are still being converted into agricultural land to feed the world’s growing population.

For these reasons, agricultural practices that can significantly reduce carbon emissions are in high demand.

Trees on agricultural lands – also known as agroforestry systems – have the potential to contribute to climate change mitigation while improving livelihoods and incomes and providing invaluable ecosystem services at the same time. The World Bank estimates that globally 1.2 billion people depend on agroforestry farming systems, especially in developing countries. However, trees on agricultural lands are not considered in the greenhouse gas accounting framework of the IPCC.

Read the full article: Agroforestry World

Agroforestry in Brazil



Restoration through agroforestry in Brazil

Agroforestry can reconcile environmental goals and livelihoods and production in restoring degraded lands in Brazil.

This is the key message of this short film, which describes efforts by ICRAF and partners to develop agroforestry options for restoring environmentally sensitive areas on privately owned lands in Brazil. This project is coordinated by ICRAF Brazil in partnership with Embrapa Biotechnology and Genetic Resources – CENARGEN and the Institute for Society, Population and Nature- ISPN through the GEF Small Grants Program/UNDP.

See the film: Agroforestry World


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