You might have learned that agriculture is one of the drivers of deforestation. But you can’t skip agriculture as that’s what provides food for people to eat and live. Thus, to strike the right balance between the need for agriculture and forests, agroforestry has given a new approach that lets trees and agriculture coexist and thrive together. Here’s a quick guide to what it is and how it can help.
What is Agroforestry?
In quick terms, agroforestry refers to agriculture with trees. Various agroforestry systems exist that are designed to mimic the ecosystem of a forest for farmers and agricultural land to reap both economic and ecological benefits. Such a system includes trees planted between fields or various trees and crops mixed across the land. Besides intercropping, an agroforestry system can also include animals.
The Significance of Agroforestry
Today’s agricultural systems have many pitfalls that need to be corrected. Established in the ‘50s, the systems were good for the demands of that period but might not be feasible for what’s needed today. Population growth is one of the major concerns and current systems might not be capable of feeding everyone in the future.
For better production, agriculture started including industrial processes that also helps lower costs. But that low-cost, high produce comes at the cost of social and environmental balance. Using the agricultural land to plant trees can help cope with the problems of landscapes going barren and falling fertility levels. Since agriculture contributes 26% to greenhouse gas emissions, planting trees can help reduce the carbon footprint while improving fertility and regulating water cycles.
However, having a proper PNF plan in place can help find the best solution for a particular piece of land, letting you reap the most benefits for a long.