Agroforestry in Africa

  • Arnold Pacey
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8987

Agroforestry is not a new idea; it is merely a new word used by scientists to describe ancient land use practices operated by farmers in many parts of the world. Other names stressing different aspects of the same technique include forest farming, forest interculture, layered gardening, and multistorey farming. The latter word has been used in West Africa to refer to a system where crops are produced from the same area of land at several levels or storeys, ranging from tops of trees (oil palms, for example), to ground crops beneath the trees, and to root crops below ground (yams, cocoyams, cassava).

Rediscovery of such farming methods during the last third of the twentieth century was linked to a realization that imported western techniques in tropical Africa had often led to soil erosion and loss of fertility. Cleared fields planted with single crops in the western manner left the soil acutely vulnerable to damage by heavy seasonal rainfall. By contrast, trees gave protection against...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Advisory Committee on the Sahel, U.S. National Research Council. Agroforestry in the West African Sahel. Washington DC, National Academy Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  2. Douglas, J. S. and Robert A. de J. Hart. Forest Farming. London: Intermediate Technology Publications, 1984.Google Scholar
  3. Hart, Robert A. de J. Forest Gardening. London: Green Books, 1991.Google Scholar
  4. Pacey, Arnold. Technology in World Civilization. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  5. Richards, Paul. Indigenous Agricultural Revolution: Ecology and Food Production in West Africa. London: Hutchinson, 1985.Google Scholar
  6. Rocheleau, Dianne, with F. Weber and A. Field‐Juma. Agroforestry in Dryland Africa. Nairobi: International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), 1988.Google Scholar
  7. Scoones, Ian and John Thomson. Beyond Farmer First. London: Intermediate Technology Publications, 1994 (see especially pp. 20, 237).Google Scholar
  8. Shepherd, Gill. Managing Africa's Tropical Dry Forests: A Review of Indigenous Methods. London: Overseas Development Institute (ODI), 1992.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnold Pacey

There are no affiliations available