Tropical Forest Issues 62 is available

Tropical Forest Issues 62 is available

General - 19 March, 2024

Why do many farmers still resist adopting and scaling agroforestry? Are the economic benefits not enough, or not perceived to be enough? Or are there other reasons? These are the questions that were asked when work began on Tropical Forest Issues 62.

Agroforestry works. Farmers worldwide show how they can improve their income while supporting the transition to a sustainable, climate-resilient agricultural sector. This is the key message that emerges from the latest edition of Tropical Forest Issues (TFI). In 26 compelling case studies, from a range of countries, this edition documents the positive impacts of agroforestry: improving livelihoods, boosting incomes, enhancing subsistence activities, creating employment opportunities, and fostering community benefits. The cases provide tangible economic evidence of “agroforestry that works” and of profitable agroforestry initiatives.

Agroforestry involves cultivating a diverse mix of trees, shrubs and crops, and in some cases, integrating them with livestock farming. This type of farming, rooted in ecological principles, effectively incorporates trees into various land uses, including farms and ranches.

Despite the potential benefits of agroforestry, widespread adoption remains limited, with concerns about scalability often cited. The practice is sometimes characterized as too small to benefit from economies of scale. But is that really the case? Tropical Forest Issues 62 shows that agroforestry does live up to its promises in the real world. So what can be done to convince farmers to adopt it? Are the economic benefits adequate? What barriers exist?

This TFI publication shows the diversity of agroforestry worldwide, presenting cases from Latin America to sub-Saharan Africa and tropical Asia. They show that promoting agroforestry provides a credible pathway to address some of the world’s most pressing policy needs. Agroforestry addresses global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss while also fostering income diversification and strengthening food security.

The cases shared in this TFI underscore the importance of tailoring agroforestry to local contexts, knowledge and traditions. They also highlight the need to identify and address barriers and to strengthen incentives for agroforestry systems to stimulate widespread adoption and to realize their true potential.

We therefore call on policymakers, market actors, financial institutions, NGOs and knowledge organizations to work together to help agroforestry to thrive. This includes developing supportive legal frameworks, creating value chains for agroforestry products, investing in farmer training, empowering women, and providing technical assistance at all levels. By uniting our efforts, we can unlock the full potential of agroforestry and create positive change on a global scale.