| Forestry training manual for the Africa region |
Total time 4 hours
- To introduce agro-forestry,
- To explore the concept of forestry in combination with agriculture or livestock,
- To explore the reason why agro-forestry is a good concept,
- To explore agro-forestry as an extension technique,
- To look at elements necessary in planning an agro-forestry project.
Agro-forestry, as a sub-discipline of forestry, has been recognized for the last ten years; however, it should be emphasized that farmers have been practicing agro-forestry for hundreds of years. As a new discipline, there is not yet a great deal written about the subject. Currently, there are thousands of projects being researched and investigated throughout the world.
In this session we explore the concepts of agro-forestry and examine the extension work. Each participant's agro-forestry plan is evaluated to date and questions answered. It should be pointed out that the participants in this training program are undoubtedly the pioneers in this discipline who will write the books on agro-forestry.
Flip charts, marker pens, tape, article "Can Farming and Forestry Coexist in the Tropics?" (Optional).
Exercise 1 Lecture on Agro-Forestry
Total time 1 hour
This new discipline in forestry is introduced and the concepts of agro-forestry as related to the Peace Corps Volunteer are presented. It is pointed out that this field, although not entirely new, is new in academic instruction of forestry and, as such, there has not been many books written on the subject to date. Perhaps the future authors are present here as participants in this session.
1. Two sample lectures follow. The first was written by Bruce Burwell and the second by William E. Prentice.
2. Following the lecture, the trainees are given the next two hours to work on their own agro-forestry projects which will be presented in later sessions:
Things to consider are:
A. Make a fiat of possible crops from which to choose and learn about each one,
B. Seek out local expertise and experience,
C. Do not jump to conclusions,
D. If the crop needs pampering in your area, leave it alone,
E. Shade tolerance is related to soil fertility, F. Grow what you like to grow.
Trainer’s Note: If a local expert is available, a presentation from that expert can be substituted for this session.
The agro-forestry approach to land management and use is not a new one; in fact it is used in many countries around the world and has been used for hundreds of years. In the United States, "progress" in crop production has lead us to the growing of large areas of single crops. Recently, however, there has been renewed interest in the agro-forestry approach, especially in those areas where the monocultures have proven difficult to manage or on sites that do not lend themselves easily to single cropping.
Underlying the agro-forestry approach is the concept that the production of crops, fruits, animals and forest products can be compatible if the right mix of species is chosen and production carefully monitored. This mix could essentially be any two or more of the above. An example would be the pasturing of sheep in an orchard: animal and fruit production. Another example could be apple trees bordering a field of mint where geese are used to weed the mint: fruit, crops and animals. The actual mix could be essentially anything that is compatible.
This compatibility of production also implies another facet of the agro-forestry approach. Wherever possible, the plant and animal association is natural and mutually beneficial. Some shrubs can provide forage to animals, fix nitrogen naturally in the soil (fertilize), and offer a cover crop for the establishment of natural grasses. Sheep can provide fertilizer to the vegetation. Trees can provide shade to the animals, cover for the lower vegetation, and fruit or forest products. Thus, each segment is not only considered from the standpoint of its own production, but also in what way it can be beneficial in the production of another segment.
Although the agro-forestry approach to land use can be applied to most areas, it has generally not been accepted in the United States. There are two main reasons for this; first, the people giving technical advice have been divided in their approach. Those involved in animal production tend to be concerned with only animals. Fruit tree specialists have no interest in forest trees, animals or shrubs, and foresters have no interest in anything outside the area of forest products. This disinterest has been strengthened by the creation of separate areas of study: agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and forestry. There is a certain amount of possessiveness by each of their specific area of specialization. None wants an "outsider" to encroach on their field and will not enter the area of another specialist.
The second reason for the non-acceptance of the agro-forestry approach has been the trend towards farming larger areas using more mechanized and specialized equipment to handle a specific crop. The introduction of several crops or types of production tends to complicate the system by requiring specialized equipment for each product.
The Possibilities for Agro-forestry in the Southwest
What can the agro-forestry approach do with the arid conditions of the Southwest? First, it can look at the whole picture; it can take into consideration the multiple interrelated possibilities of production. For example, a combination of several of the following might be tried:
Pinon pine: For the production of fuelwood and nuts.
Sheep: For the production of meat and wool.
Native grasses: For range use and soil protection.
Shrubs: For animal forage.
Junipers: For berries and wood.
Bees: For honey and pollination.
These are just examples. There are many other species that could be combined; for example, the jojoba has a nut that produces an oil that is in high demand.
An agro-forestry project should first be done on a sample area basis such that the best possible combination can be determined through measuring and monitoring. This can be done by setting out replicated areas and observing the resulting production on each area. For example, trees can be measured for height and later volume, growth and/or fruit production; grasses can be measured on a ground cover basis; and sheep on a meat and wool _ production basis. The monitoring of these sample areas should be carefully done to observe any incompatibility, especially as related to any species that are introduced into the area. Once the best productive combination is determined, the area can be expanded.
An attempt should be made to work with nature as much as possible. The mixing of species is much the way nature itself handles the vegetation on a specific site. By artificially creating a "balance", however, it is almost certain that the balance will be different than the one that nature would have planned. The point is to try and make it as close as possible, yet productive, such that nature is helping instead of trying to destroy the artificially made balance. It is much easier and more productive to have nature helping.
Lecture 2 Agro-Forestry - By William E. Prentice
We believe that it is right for a man to strive to better the world in which he lives.
Each tree you plant makes the world a better place.
As a PCV, you can have a great multiplier effect by teaching others to plant and care for trees.
I. Combining "forestry" with agriculture and livestock.
- Possible combinations,
- Why do it?
- Overcoming resistance.
II . Selecting the crops, horticultural trees and animals.
- Fruit and nut trees,
- The birds and the bees,
- Fowl play.
III. Land usage: Production techniques.
Land Usage - Various Possibilities
Agricultural - Field Crop Monoculture
- Orchard monoculture
- Mixed cropping
- Plantation - single species
- Plantation - mixed species
- Pasturage of paddocking
- Forage and feed storage
- Animal under trees: regular distribution, - In relay sequence - Permanent association
- Animal under trees; irregular distribution,
- Horticultural tree with forest trees.
- Grazing under trees (fruit and nuts)
- Grazing plant residues
- Fowl with resistant crops
- Pigs and fowl (self-harvesting)
- Grazing under trees
- Planted forage for weed control
- Annuals, trees and animals
- Perennials, trees and animals
- Annuals, perennials, trees and animals