It was amazing to see agroforestry and conservation agriculture engage in a cosy relationship at the World Forestry Congress this week. It’s a union that can improve food security and environmental sustainability, and create new jobs.
They came together in a side event convened by South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Integration of agroforestry and conservation agriculture through LandCare in South Africa. The session aimed to share knowledge and best practices with governments, civil society organisations, farmers, forums, academia, and researchers, to promote platforms of conservation agriculture for policy direction, and to showcase the Limpopo Programme in agroforestry.
Integrating agroforestry and conservation agriculture has the potential to increase yield and food security. It can improve soil fertility through reduced erosion, tree mulch and canopy cover. Pruned branches can be used as raw material for composting, increasing the resilience of the farm enterprise to a variety of shocks.
Fertilizer trees for soil fertility include tree lucerne, while the invasive acacia species can be chipped. Fodder can be produced from trees such as acacia tortilis, tree lucerne and moringa, and fruit tree agroforestry systems.
Blogpost based on input by Segwatibe Makobe, makobew(at)gmail.com
Photo courtesy Ms Shila Dolo, Research Assistant, RVSC, University of Limpopo