“APIFORESTRY as a Sustainable Investment Project for People & Future”?: What necessitates this initiative?
As vegetation is being cleared for agriculture and other purposes, the conventional forests are gradually replaced by integrating trees into agricultural landscapes. Similarly, apiculture is emerging as a promising non-farm activity with great potential for economic advancement of resource poor rural dwellers.
However, bee keeping in Africa depends more on agricultural and natural vegetation. But agricultural landscape that serves as immediate source of raw-materials for bee is under threat as a result of various agro-chemicals uses and the alternative natural vegetation is declining as most bee forage plant species have become preferred tree for charcoal, chain saw logging, fire wood etc. The decline in biodiversity of natural vegetation couple with effect of climate change might lead to loss of more vegetation and wild populations of honeybees that only remain in Africa as well as aggravating unavailability of food and apicultural products.
On the other hand, the concepts of sustainability emphasize wise and prudent use of the forest resources for today and future generation. But the perception is unattractive and worthless to the resource poor farmers especially in Africa whose livelihoods rest on the forest resources. This statement established that there might be conflict of interest between economic and environmental interest. Therefore, the sustainability of investing in any successful project will requires a win-win strategy that will bridge the gap between the economic needs of people and wise conservation of the environment.
It is on this background that Apiforestry initiative rise, with aims of integrating forestry, apiculture and any other smart agricultural activity as a new emerging and modified system of agroforestry and sustainable forest management. To promote the initiative as a project worth investing, a model for establishment and implementation plan for the adoption was developed, using diagnosis and design methodology of agroforestry.
In conclusion: “Apiforestry” as new innovation will further affirm that apiculture, forestry and agriculture may provide answers to a combination of needs for people-ecological land balance, bee-plant relationship, and protection against forest resources. Thereby help in restoration of plant biodiversity within and around the apiary for bees’ productivity, thus enhancing pollination services in agro-ecosystems that will promote food security, economic growth and conservation of African bees and trees that are going into extinction.
No doubt that “Apiforestry” will promote sustainable future and open more room for innovative researches and discussions.
Text, photo and video are submitted by Yusuf Adeniyi Adeyemo (Nigeria) – adeniyiorganic(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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