Agroforestry Alternatives and Farmer Profitability

Agroforestry can provide alternatives to slash and burn agriculture at tropical forest margins in subhumid tropical Africa.  The trade-offs between carbon sequestration and farmer profitability may provide additional options to policy makers. Agroforestry practices can sequester 57Mg C per ha, three times that of croplands or grasslands are able to do. Soil nutrient capital is being replenished  through improved leguminous tree fallows, rock phosphate and biomass transfers of Tithonia diversifolia, helping farmers to attain food security. Afterwards, when farmers shift to high-value tree or vegetable crop production, poverty is reduced. One example is Prunus africana, a tree crop with high-value extracts from its bark used to treat prostrate disorders.  The transformation of low productivity croplands to sequential agroforestry is estimated to triple system carbon stocks in 20 years.

Sanchez, P. a Linking climate change research with food security and poverty reduction in the tropics. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 82, 371–383 (2000).
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