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Agroforestry

Bare ground is vulnerable – Plant Trees and gain an income 

What is Agroforestry?

Agroforestry is the land management system where trees and shrubs are integrated into crop and animal farming systems to create economic, social and environmental benefits.

Agroforestry provides opportunities for landowners – both commercial and small-scale farmers, for better productivity and profitability but is particularly crucial to smallholder farmers and other rural groups because it enhance their food supply, income and health.

Agroforestry is farming in 3D

and it works because – trees above ground protect crops and animals against the elements and roots reach deep into the ground to cycle.  Therefore, Agroforestry can solve many problems concerning intensive farming.

Benefits of Agroforestry

Protect soil, animals, crops, and homes from extreme weather
Improve water quality
Control runoff and soil erosion, thereby reducing loss of water, soil material, organic matter and nutrients
Create jobs and income
Produce products – new products add to the financial diversity and flexibility of the farming enterprise like fibre, bioenergy, wood, medicinal/botanical and floral products, etc.
Supports sustainable production of food
Improves pollinator habitat
Provide protection against wind – crops and livestock protected from the damaging effects of wind are more productive

Gmelina arborea (White teak)

Extremely fast-growing, large deciduous tree, 30 m tall, straight trunk,  Leaves are a good fodder and cattle eat the fruit, Flowers produce abundant nectar, which produces high-quality honey, produces good-quality pulp for paper, wood is yellowish- to reddish-white, valuable general-purpose wood because of its dimensional stability, saws easily and has only slight blunting effects on tools, used for making furniture, plywood core stock, mine, props, matches and timber for light construction, wood burns well and makes a good fuel and charcoal, Excellent choice for large-scale reforestation programmes

1 m tree K80
1.5 m tree K140
2 m tree K200

Khaya nyasica (Red mahogany)
A large, fairly fast-growing, evergreen tree, The wood is dark, hard, reddish brown and durable, suitable for furniture, flooring, panelling, and excellent for boat building, moderately heavy (air dry 620 kg/m 3), with an attractive grain. Harvesting begins within 16 years. Popular as a source of firewood and charcoal. Charcoal made from red mahogany wood has a long burning time with a gentle and steady heat. Red mahogany is perfect for using in integrated farming systems for crop production. Leaves and twig litter decomposition improve soil fertility and organic matter status of the soils that lead to an improvement in crop yield output.
Suitable to grow in most soil types, also tolerant of swampy soils. The wood weathers well and is resistant to borers and termites.

1 m tree K80
1.5 m tree K140
2 m tree K200

Mulberry tree

 

Very easy to grow, fruit is very nutritious with many medicinal properties and can be eaten fresh out of hand or to make jams, pies, tarts, puddings,  Silvopasture, Leaves are highly palatable and digestible, an excellent protein-rich fodder for livestock and can be used as supplements replacing concentrates for dairy cattle, it  increase milk production of lactating goats, cows, sheep and rabbits, and improve livestock productivity.
Full sun, will thrive in degraded soils but prefers compost-rich, well-drained soil, very drought tolerant, fast growing, resistant to all major pest and diseases.

1 m tree K80
1.5 m tree K140
2 m tree K200

Ochroma pyramidale (Balsa Tree)

A large, extremely fast-growing tree, Balsa wood is the softest of all the hardwood, and super lightweight, one of the lightest varieties of wood available, but remarkably strong, it is considered the strongest wood for its weight in the world, used in model-building, packing, flotation devices, insulation lining for incubators, refrigerators and cold storage rooms, wind turbine blades, table tennis rackets, hobby and craft projects, toys, doll houses, doll furniture, carving and whittling. Balsa wood is lighter than cork and thus ideal for life preservers and lifebelts, wooden crankbaits for fishing, especially Rapala lures and floats for fishing nets and lines. Excellent for making biochar has great water holding capacity. Harvest in 8 to 9 years.
Balsa is a pioneer species that thrives on abandoned land, recommended for the recovery of degraded areas and soil improvements. Fast leaf turnover increases the soil organic matter content. The flowers provide abundant food for bats, birds and several insects. The seed fibre is used as stuffing for mattresses and cushions. In aeronautic modelling, Balsa Wood is very much in demand as it is a perfect wood that can easily withstand crash landings and does not cause any major damage. Valued as a component of full-sized light wooden airplanes.

1 m tree K80
1.5 m tree K140
2 m tree K200

Paulownia elongata ( Empress Tree)
Extremely fast growing, clusters of showy, fragrant lavender flowers, wood is attractive, strong, lightweight, quick-drying, easily worked and will not split or crack when nailed, Leaves are rich in nitrogen and protein, makes a good fodder for livestock such as goats, sheep, pigs, beef and dairy cattle, Harvest within 8-10 years
Paulownia produce woody biomass for renewable energy, bioethanol, biogas, novel bioplastics, pellets, timber chips and charcoal, protects soil from erosion, wood is used to make furniture, doors, gift boxes, bowls, toys, clogs, handicrafts, musical instruments, used for construction lumber, insulation, plywood and veneer, planes and ship construction, biochar, and leaves are used for fertilizer (green manure), new trees grow from the stumps of felled trees

1 m tree K80
1.5 m tree K140
2 m tree K200

Sesbania grandiflora (Vegetable Hummingbird Tree)

Soft-wooded, loosely-branching, nitrogen-fixing tree,  Young leaves, seedpods and flowers are edible and loaded with nutrients including protein, minerals and vitamins, flowers are eaten raw in salads, boiled, deep-fried, or used in curries, soups, and stews, young leaves and shoots in salad, stews, or as potherbs and young pods boiled and sautéed. 
Full sun, Average water, Any soil, nitrogen fixing, 6 to 8 m tall, Deciduous, Fast growing, Non-invasive roots, Important agroforestry species for food, green manure, forage, valued fodder for cattle and goats, particularly for dry season feeding, ideal for rehabilitating eroded hills, wood is a major source of pulp for use in making paper

1 m tree K80
1.5 m tree K140
2 m tree K200

Toona ciliata/ Cedrela toona (Indian mahogany/Australian red cedar)
A large fast-growing tree, red timber, easy to work and very highly valued. Was referred to as “red gold” by Australian settlers. The wood is used for boat building, high-grade furniture and cabinet making, cigar boxes, matchboxes, decorative plywood and veneer, food containers, interior trim, joinery, musical instruments, ornamental work, panelling, boxes and crates, building materials, exterior uses, millwork, mouldings. Harvesting begins within 14 years. Good for charcoal production and fire wood due to its rapid growth. A fibre obtained from the bark is used for twines and the manufacture of string bags. Leaves are used as a vegetable and also lopped for fodder. Important bee plant for honey production. Good for phytoremediation of areas with herbicide residues and of metal-polluted soils.
Drought tolerant. Fairly good resistance to termites and other timber pests.

1 m tree K80
1.5 m tree K140
2 m tree K200