The ‘parklands’ that form the most widespread farming systems in the Sahelian zone of West Africa are farming systems in which annual crops are grown under scattered trees preserved from the natural vegetation by farmers clearing the woodlands to make crop fields. Being mixed agricultural systems, the interactions between trees and crops have always been a key element determining the management options applied by farmers. A combination of field trials, observational studies and modeling has been deployed to understand soil–tree–crop interactions, including sharing of growth resources by the system components. Despite scientific advances, there are still some methodological challenges in determining the tradeoffs and synergies between and among goods and services, and how to boost the provisioning, supporting and regulating functions of such agroforestry systems. Providing such ecosystem service functions is critical in the quest for ensuring food security while achieving adaptation and mitigation goals in vulnerable environments like the drylands.
Call for articles: “Making access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources work for family farmers and agroecology”: in a forthcoming special issue of the magazine “Farming Matters,” ILEIA in collaboration with Bioversity International will explore if and how access and benefit sharing related to plant genetic resources can work for family farmers and agroecology. The publication will primarily be based on experiences of family farmers from around the world and aims to inform farmers and practitioners, researchers, civil society, and policy makers. Send your contribution before 15 August 2015
Healthy communities rely on well-functioning ecosystems. They provide clean air, fresh water, medicines and food security. They also limit disease and stabilize the climate. But biodiversity loss is happening at unprecedented rates, impacting human health worldwide, according to a new state of knowledge review published on 4 June by the Convention on Biological Diversity and […]