Agroforestry technologies and fodder production — concepts and examples
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As evidenced by various literature references, woody perennials are an important source of livestock feed; particularly in arid and semi-arid environments. Most of the research reported in the literature has focused on arid and semi-arid rangeland; it is however, argued that livestock feed from woody perennials in the subhumid tropics is also of considerable economic importance. This is supported by information from ICRAF's Multipurpose Tree and Shrub Data Base, according to which fodder from trees as a priority us e occurs in the subhumid almost as often as in the arid and semi-arid zones.
To resolve the problem of confusing terminology and to define agroforestry technologies clearly, a standardized modular technology description system is introduced. Part of this system is the association of tree characteristics to individual technologies. This link between tree characteristics and technologies will enable the MPTS Data Base to identify species that match any given combination of tree characteristics pertaining to one or several technologies.
Finally, an interactive structural model is developed that shows the relationship among components, technologies, and systems. Arguments are provided for assigning a central role to technologies within this structural model, and the advantages of increased technology-oriented research efforts are highlighted.
Key wordsFodder trees browse stock feed agroforestry technologies modular technology description system tree characteristics landuse systems
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