Trees growing on farms will be essential to future development. As the number of trees in forests is declining every year, the number of trees on farms is increasing. Marking the launch of the International Year ofForest by the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF9) in New York on 29 January, Dennis Garrity, the Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre, highlighted the importance of mixing trees with agriculture, the practice known as agroforestry.
Evergreen Agriculture is a form of agroforestry that integrates trees with annual crops. "We see Evergreen Agriculture as nothing less than the radical, but entirely practical, pathway to a reinvention of agriculture," said Garrity. "It is a vision of a future in which much of our food crops will be grown under a full canopy of trees."
Planting trees that provide natural fertilizers on farms with poor soils helps farmers restore fertility and increase yields. Gliricidia bushes fix nitrogen in their roots and act as natural green fertilizer factories, tripling yields of maize on farms in
Domesticating wild fruit trees in the
Investments in agroforestry over the next 50 years could remove 50 billion tonnes of additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Most of the deforestation in Africa, and in parts of