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Planting trees – a strategy for healing degraded land

Photo courtesy P.Kimeli / CCAFS (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Planting trees – a strategy for healing degraded land

Focali interim project coordinator Maria Göthberg wrote an article based on the publication "The Role of Trees in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics" from the Annual Review of Phytopathology, vol.52, by SIANI Member Roger Leakey.

The article is published on the theme "Forests, Landscapes and Food Security"-website - a collaboration between Focali and Swedish International Agricultural Network, SIANI.

What will the future of agriculture look like? The question is part of an international debate on how the world’s farmers could and should act to avoid future food crises as the world population is growing and land degradation is spreading. Current estimates are that land degradation affects 38% of the world’s total agricultural land, and 88% of this land is affected by soil erosion.

In a world where we see an increased demand of land, food-land degradation is an illustration of a downward spiral. A strive for security and wealth results in a misuse of land in the form of overgrazing, deforestation and unsustainable use of natural resources like soil and water.

The debate on how to avoid future food crises because of low yields has mostly tended to circle around arguments on either improved productivity through biotechnology and genetic modification, or through organic farming practices. However a third option advocating paying more attention to agroecology (an ecological approach viewing agriculture as an ecosystem in itself) has started to gain more and more attention.

Read the article in whole here...

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