Agroforestry refers to a tropical land-use system involving the mixture of tree planting, crop growing, and livestock rearing on the same piece of land simultaneously.

advantages of agroforestry.

The practice of Agro-forestry was started in the 1970’s due to
the following advantages.

It maximizes the use of land.

It is a sustainable source of biomass (charcoal and firewood).

Trees create a micro-climate within the firm.

Some agro-forestry trees are of medicinal value.

Tree products such as fruits, poles, timber etc. are used or can be sold to earn income to the farmer.

Livestock dung increases soil fertility.

The leaves and pods of some trees are used as animal fodder as they are rich in fat, protein etc.

Leaf litter adds organic material and minerals to the soil.

The trees increase soil water retention thus reduce soil erosion.

Characteristics of trees for Agro forestry

  • The tree should be fast growing/maturing.
  • Tree should yield good quality timber
  • Tree leaves and pods should be palatable and nutritious so as to provide fodder.
  • It should be fruit bearing.
  • Tree should have nitrogen fixing abilities
  • Tree should be deep rooted to allow weeding of the food crops and limit competition for soil nutrients
  • It should be thornless.

Examples of trees are- calliandra colothyrsus, acacia mellifera, sesbania sesba, terminalia brownii, adansonia digitata