Revisiting the past: an essay on agroforestry definition


Concepts used by various authors are analyzed in order to define agroforestry and discuss, in detail, some ambiguous terms often encountered (biological and economic interactions, time sequences, etc.). Only those concepts which differentiate agroforestry from other non-agroforestry forms of land use are retained as part of the definition, which is: agroforestry is a form of multiple cropping under which three fundamental conditions are met: 1) there e exist at least two plant species that interact biologically; 2) at least one of the plant species is a woody perennial; and 3) at least one of the plant species is managed for forage, annual or perennial crop production.

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Translated with modifications from ¿Que es agroforestería? El Chasqui (CATIE, Costa Rica) 24: 5–13, 1990.

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Somarriba, E. Revisiting the past: an essay on agroforestry definition. Agroforest Syst 19, 233–240 (1992).

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Key words

  • agroforestry definition