Agroforestry systems

Forms of land-use and land-management, in which trees or shrubs are used together with crop and/or animals in the same area, simultaneously or in a sequence of time. They must include at least one tree or shrub forest species, which can be combined with one or more crops and/or animal species, because this forest species provides useful products to the producer, as well as playing an essential role in maintaining soil fertility.

Agroforestry Systems (AFSs) mimic the vegetation cover of the forest, with diversification being its essence and foundation. This perspective favors the productivity recovery of degraded soils through implanted tree species, which naturally fertilize the soil, reducing the use of external inputs and, thus, the production costs, and increasing the economic efficiency of the productive unit. In addition, the greater diversification represents more marketable products, favoring a more harmonic generation of income in time. This context is very suitable for small family farming.

Agroforestry systems can be categorized into:

Silvicultural systems – a combination of trees or shrubs with agricultural species.

Silvopastoral systems – a combination of trees or shrubs with herbaceous forage plants and animals.

Agrosilvopastoral systems – animal husbandry or management in silvi-agricultural consortia.

There are several possible techniques for using AFSs. The main ones are windbreaks, protection shelters, hedgerows, Taungya (periodic planting of trees and agricultural crops), alleys (permanent trees in contour lines), agroforestry yards, non-successive agroforestry (trees associated with agricultural crops), and successive agroforestry.

Source: Apremavi – Association for the Preservation of the Environment and Life

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