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You are here: Home Magazines Global edition Trees and farming

Trees and farming

last modified May 07, 2015 01:26 PM

This issue of Farming Matters provides an in-depth understanding of the overall advantages that trees bring and looks at the policy issues that influence the adoption of agroforestry.

While the size of the world’s forests is declining, the number of trees on farms is increasing substantially. This reflects the many benefits they bring – to farmers, to their farms and to the ecosystems these are in. Yet there are several issues that need to be considered in order to sustain this growth, among which we have governance, policies and rights.

Farming Matters | 27.2 | June 2011

Featured articles

Table of contents:

  • 3 - 3
    Tea is one of the agricultural products for which Nepal is famous. It is mostly grown in the eastern part of the country and is exported all over the world.
  • 5 - 5
    Agroforestry is one of mankind’s best hopes to create a climate-smart agriculture, increase food security, alleviate rural poverty and achieve truly sustainable development”, write Dennis Garrity and Paul Stapleton in the theme overview for this issue.
  • 7 - 7
  • 8 - 9
    The size of the world’s forests is declining every year and yet, at the same time, the number of trees on farms is increasing. Over a billion hectares of agricultural land, almost half of the world’s farmland, have more than 10 percent of their area occupied by trees. Over 160 million hectares have more than 50 percent tree cover. Agroforestry, mixing trees with agriculture, is a crucial bridge between forestry and agriculture. Growing trees on farms can provide farmers with food, income, fodder and medicines, as well providing environmental benefits such as enriching the soil, retaining water, fixing carbon and generating biomass.
  • 10 - 13
    We enjoy our individual interactions with farmers and often develop personal relationships with each one of them as they proceed through our training programmes, but we have found that we are more successful when we work with groups of people who want to develop agroforestry projects. It is more efficient to work with groups. It also maximises our use of limited funds by ensuring that workshops and field visits reach the largest number of people possible.
  • 14 - 16
    Interview > Djibo Bagna - ROPPA, the West African Network of Peasant and Farmer Organisations, was founded in 2000 as a representative body that would help “make the voices of family farmers heard”. Having been involved with farmer organisations for decades, Djibo Bagna serves now as its President.
  • 17 - 17
    Opinion: There is little to celebrate during this International Year of Forests, says Francisco Caporal
  • 18 - 20
    Aiming to increase the area covered by forests, programmes like the Green India Mission are looking for the necessary funds and resources to help them reach the objective of reforesting millions of hectares. Yet money is not the only difficulty. For who owns these new forests? And who benefits from them? Setting up co-operative forests has many advantages, but they can suffer from an incomplete legal framework.
  • 21 - 21
    Land is a scarce resource. Large-scale land acquisitions by governments and companies – also known as "land grabs" – allow them to secure food supplies or simply make a profit.
  • 22 - 23
    Making markets work for the poor is all about connecting small-scale farmers to niche export markets. Or is it? Participants at the provocation seminar “Making markets work for the poor: Contents and discontents”, held in Paris on 30 March, called on development agencies to turn their eyes away from export markets and take a closer look at local ones.
  • 24 - 26
    More and more land in Africa is being cultivated, reducing the area covered by forests, the existing biodiversity, and affecting the water supplies of nearby cities. Could farmers produce the same services as forests do – at least partly? The World Agroforestry Centre is working to develop arrangements between farmers and private parties in a bid to have farmland supply clean water and carbon sinks. But what should farmers get in return? Money is not the only reward they are looking for.
  • 27 - 27
    “Agriculture is sustainable if it can attract future generations of young farmers”. These were the words that Edith van Walsum, ILEIA’s director, used to open the editorial in our previous issue. A similar idea lies behind The Green Wave, an initiative of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This is an international campaign involving schools in more than 70 countries, the aim of which is to raise awareness around the importance of biodiversity among children and youth.
  • 28 - 29
    Small, fast-growing nitrogen-fixing trees like Calliandra calothyrsus are becoming increasingly popular in the eastern and central African highlands for various reasons: they can provide a yearround supply of protein-rich feed, improve soil and water conservation, and provide mulch, fuel, stalks, poles, nectar and fences. Yet if farmers follow many of the guidelines that are available, they find it difficult to establish enough of them on their farms without external support. Focusing on sustainable and affordable methods, research is providing effective alternatives.
  • 30 - 31
  • 32 - 33
    Trees bring many benefits, even if these are not immediately visible and not all farmers recognise it. Here are some examples from different parts of the world about how trees help increase production and incomes.
  • 34 - 36
    Wanakaset, a word which translates directly as “forest agriculture”, is both the name of a farm and of a network of farms and farmers in Thailand. But it also refers to a farming concept which goes beyond agricultural production to look at self-sufficiency and the relationship between man and his natural environment and resources.
  • 37 - 37
    Dov Pasternak argues for more tree cover in the semi-arid tropics.
  • 38 - 39
    Whether as a result of rising food prices, or simply because the world’s population is expected to continue growing, many projects and programmes are specifically focusing on food security and on the need to produce more food. Yet quantities are not all that matter. Are we paying enough attention to the quality of the food being produced? Our partners describe how this issue is being addressed in Peru, India and China.
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