Updated on 24-02-2023

What is it exactly ?

A simple principle

The word Agroforestry explains one simple principle which is to associate trees and cultures or herds of animals on the same plot. This association results in mutual benefits and various advantages for both Man and the Environment. The tree resumes its legitimate place on agricultural lands and farms after being left out despite its long and faithful service.


Virtuous cycles

- For the soil and water:
Trees play a significant role in terms of fertility for the soil mainly thanks to their root system.
The tree roots deeply develop in the ground, so they are able to catch nutritive elements thanks to their numerous root buds and bring them to smaller plants cultivated on the surface.
The leaves and some other organic elements from the tree fall on the ground and decompose, thus creating a layer rich in organic material called humus. This humus increases the proportion of organic material in the ground and improves the fertility, which is necessary to farmlands.
The root system of the trees helps absorbing the water and at the same time, limits the soil erosion. Then, the soil's capacity for water retention increases, which is valuable for agriculture and water management.

- For the landscapes and the environment:
Agroforestry is similar to country hedges or forest edges planted along plot borders, as it increases the surrounding biodiversity by providing food and shelter. In general, creating fresh and shady zones participates in both the animals and the farm operator's well-being. Moreover, planting trees with a broad development provides protection against cold and wind.
Finally, the agroforestry has a role to play in the biological protection of the cultures by hosting natural enemies necessary to fight crop pests.

A new management but no ready-made model

Planting trees on a farm plot that is used for cultivation or herding, offers many agronomic, environmental, and landscaping advantages. The farm operator could adopt a model more diversified than the one already existing while obtaining an agricultural performance economically viable and sustainable. The reflexion about implementing an agroforestry should reconcile economical, technical, and environmental approaches. Each project is unique, it depends on the farm operator's objectives (producing softwood lumber or fuel wood, or even vegetables), and should consider the soil climatic conditions of the plot and the country.

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