Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands
The planting of trees together with the cultivation of annual crops, a combination now generally termed agroforestry, has been strongly promoted in recent years as a way to prevent land degradation and to increase total production of food and useful products from a unit of land. Throughout the Third World, development agencies and government departments of agriculture and forestry have been advocating agroforestry as a way to harmonize forests with farming, or as a way to make up, at least partially, for the destruction of natural forests and their replacement by pasture or by fields of annual crops. In the Pacific these modern, aid‐funded attempts to promote agroforestry are ironic, for they take place in a region where agroforestry systems were developed thousands of years ago and where hundreds of species of trees are still used in a be wildering variety of ways.
At least a few trees even have a place in the popular imagination about the Pacific Islands. If asked what particularly...
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