Agroforestry increases carbon storage and can enhance agricultural productivity, so it could be a win-win solution to the difficult choice between reforestation and agricultural land use in Africa, says scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre.
In most parts of Africa, climate change mitigation to date has focused on reforestation and forest protection. But this is in conflict with the need to expand agricultural production in Africa to feed the continent’s growing population.
Agroforestry however, can achieve mitigation and increase production but also help farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change.
“For example, a farm with trees will suffer less to the impacts of climate change because it will absorb some of these impacts, so agroforestry is a good response to develop resilience of agrosystems to the challenges brought about by climate change,” says Cheikh Mbow, Senior Scientist, Climate Change and Development at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and lead author of the article.
Mbow and co-authors suggest that agroforestry should attract more attention in global agendas on climate change mitigation because of its positive social and environmental impacts. Increasing the adoption of agroforestry requires support for smallholder farmers through building robust extension services.