1. Agriculture World

Agroforestry May Be Solution to Carbon-Neutral Agriculture

Farmers are being encouraged to use developed technologies and practices to reduce environmental impacts while maintaining production, profitability, and formula through research and innovation.

Shivam Dwivedi
Agroforestry
Agroforestry

Agroforestry refers to land-use systems and technologies in which woody perennials, trees, shrubs, palms, and bamboos are planted alongside agricultural crops and livestock on the same land management units. Ireland has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030, compared to the baseline year of 2018, and agroforestry has been shown to help.

Land-use systems and practices where perennials are deliberately integrated with crops and/or animals on the same parcel of land are initiated as part of this diversification of the farming system.

This initiates an agro-ecological succession, similar to that found in natural ecosystems, and thus a chain of events that improves the farming system's functionality and sustainability.

This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry, known as silvopastoral agroforestry, has a number of advantages, including increased yields from food crops, improved farmer livelihoods through income generation, increased biodiversity, improved soil structure, and health, reduced erosion, and carbon sequestration.

As part of a rotational grazing system, sheep graze agroforestry. Rather than stimulating sustainable agricultural production, agroforestry is expected to be the road to neutrality.

Farmers are being encouraged to use developed technologies and practices to reduce environmental impacts while maintaining production, profitability, and formula through research and innovation. Within the EU, agroforestry has proven to be successful.

EU Forestry Strategy 2030

The recently published EU forestry strategy 2030 encourages EU member states to speed up the adoption of carbon farming practices, with agroforestry being proposed as one method through various eco schemes.

There's also a pledge from Europe to plant an additional three billion trees between now and 2030, and agroforestry and tree planting on agricultural land is mentioned as a viable option in that document.

Once trees are planted in an agricultural field, whether in pasture or in a tillage field, there are a variety of interactions that can occur. The wind pattern on the field is altered when trees are planted. It can alter precipitation patterns because the tree absorbs some of the moisture in the canopy, causing precipitation to distribute differently.

It can improve nutrient cycling within agricultural fields and can reduce the external inputs required. Agroforestry covers 15.4 million hectares in Europe, accounting for 9% of the total agricultural land area.

Because agroforestry supports biodiversity in the agricultural landscape, it can prevent soil erosion and soil loss, research in Europe has been ongoing for 20 or 30 years, and some of the findings show that agroforestry can contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptations. It can also improve nutrient cycling in agricultural fields and reduce the number of external inputs required in some agricultural enterprises, reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides.

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