2 minutes read
Small farmers in Africa are being encouraged to venture into agro forestry.
This, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will diversify their income and counter climate change.
While speaking during Africa Oil and Rubber Summit held in Abidjan, Amath Pathe Sene, coordinator IFAD, said they are trying to promote this method to develop other food crops that palm oil on the same surface.
Pathe Sene stated that diversification can better absorb economic shocks as many small farmers, whose long-term vision involves the transmission of heritage to their children, are starting or returning to agroforestry systems, particularly in West Africa.
Patrick Jagoret, deputy director of a joint research unit at the Center for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD), on his part said the shift to agro forestry systems is a fundamental movement which is going grow, “
IFAD believes planting trees, crops or animals on the same piece of land, decreases the setbacks that come with monoculture in agriculture.
“There is very little information on the area already occupied by agro forestry in Africa, particularly because of the lack of an agricultural census,” said Mr. Patrick.
He added that the specialist in agro forestry, however, observes a “reversal of situation, slowly but surely”, with regards to the awareness on an institutional and local scale of the danger represented by the monoculture approach.
“Some have never abandoned it, and in Central Africa and the countries of the sub region, for example, these ancestral practices have remained valid because farmers have seen the value of the systems put in place by their parents and grandparents. “, he stated.
In Ivory Coast, the sector employs more than one million people, according to an estimate of the national center for agronomic research.
Agro forestry would also help to combat global warming.
“The Paris agreement imposes to stay below 1.5 degrees of global warming.If we continue to plant unsustainably, we will not achieve the objectives,” said Amath Pathe Sene.