Contributions of agroforestry to ecosystem services in the miombo eco-region of eastern and southern Africa
The miombo is the most extensive woodland in Africa, with several economic and ecological benefits. It is currently being affected by deforestation and degradation resulting in the modification and transformation of the landscape. Agroforestry has been offered as one of the solutions to land and forest degradation and to the loss of biodiversity in this region. However, promotion of agroforestry has been limited because little attempt has been made to review and synthesize knowledge on the functions, processes and capabilities of agroforestry practices being done. The current state of knowledge was examined using literature review in five countries in the miombo eco- region of Southern Africa, to determine the ecosystem services benefited from agroforestry activities.
CONCLUSIONS AND TAKEWAYS
The authors state that, despite the several benefits offered by practicing agroforestry, there are challenges to adopting agroforestry systems. These include limited knowledge and inadequate resources for the farmers. Overcoming these challenges agroforestry practices can contribute to ecosystem services by mitigating land degradation, climate change and desertification. They can add structural and functional diversity to the agricultural landscapes in the miombo. These practices can also be an effective tool in balancing agricultural production and environmental stewardship.
Sileshi, G., Akinnifesi, F. K., Ajayi, O. C., Chakeredza, S., Kaonga, M., & Matakala, P. W. (2007). Contributions of agroforestry to ecosystem services in the Miombo eco-region of eastern and southern Africa. African journal of environmental science and technology, 1(4), 68-80.
- SADC-ICRAF Agroforestry Program, Chitedze Agricultural Research Station, P.O. Box 30798, Lilongwe, Malawi
- 368 Milton Road, Cambridge CB4, 1SU, UK
- SADC-ICRAF Agroforestry Program Regional Office, 2698 Avenida das FPLM, Mavalane, P.O. Box 1884, Maputo, Mozambique