Knowledge for Development

Knowledge gaps and research needs concerning agroforestry's contribution to sustainable development goals in Africa


Date: 28/03/2014


This review by Cheikh Mbow and colleagues from the World  Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) addresses the role of agroforestry in the links between food security and agricultural sustainability in Africa. The paper poses the hypothesis that 'Agroforestry concepts and practices can form an effective, efficient and fair pathway towards the achievement of many sustainable development goals'. It aims to demonstrate that the products and services emanating from the integration of trees within farming systems can contribute to food security, farmer livelihoods and environmental resilience. Agroforestry requires several enabling conditions beyond biophysical suitability. Many pending research questions must be explored to optimise agroforestry knowledge and practice, as failure of some agroforestry strategies is related to lack of integration and system approach.  For agroforestry to be adopted it should not be constrained by policies which hinder the integration of trees, with crops and livestock.   

(Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 20/02/2014)