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What is agroforestry?
Marrying farming and forestry.
Agroforestry is the production of food, fodder, fibre and fuel whilst creating a forest ecosystem. This comes in many forms, where products such as food can come directly from trees, or where annual crops are produced alongside trees.
The challenges of the future involves feeding an increasing population (estimated to reach 9 billion in 2050) and increasing the amount of forested land to capture carbon and stabilise the natural systems.
We believe agroforestry is fundamental to achieve these objectives, and is capable of valuing nature for what it is truly worth. So the question lies in, exactly, what is agroforestry?
By its nature, agroforestry lies at the heart of bringing harmony between the needs of man and nature, based on the understanding that after all, we are one and the same.
This is based on the understanding that nature tends towards forests. Trees, as the most intelligently bioengineered feature around, are responsible for stabilising atmospheric conditions, producing rich fertile soil (our source of life), feeding the planet, and much more. Practically speaking, on our farms they control soil erosion, improve nutrient cycles and fertility, provide biodiversity and habitat, produce the organic matter that is vital for soil life, improve photosynthesis, production and therefore income, and last but not least, produce fruit and nuts to feed the world. When we realise that we don't need to reinvent the wheel, we can adapt forests to our agricultural needs to regenerate our degraded landscapes and find harmony with our environment whilst feeding our population.
By simply inspiring ourselves from their intelligence we can start to imitate the the way forests function. We can understand what the dynamics and principles of nature and apply them to our agricultural systems. This is a challenge for the farming industry, as it means a deep change on a philosophical level and technical level.
For this reason we gone to two of the masters of agroforestry to learn from those that are successfully implementing truly regenerative agroforestry systems.
Farms can become regenerative, independent of external inputs, providers of habitat, creators of life, and can turn around the pressing challenge of desertification.
two masters of agroforestry.
By imitating natural systems, and adapting plants that naturally grow in our areas, we can create agricultural systems that operate with strategic neglect.