Why planting trees on farms benefits farmers under a changing climate

Shifting from conventional farms to agroforestry farms brings various benefits to communities as they face the threat of a changing climate.

Agroforestry, the practice of planting trees and crops in the same area, may serve as a sustainable climate-smart agriculture (CSA) initiative that enhances the climate resilience of farms, reduces their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and increases their productivity. For instance, trees on farms improve micro-climates and absorb carbon dioxide, a potent GHG that contributes to climate change.

Trees alone bring several benefits to the people and the environment. Fruit-bearing trees generate additional incomes for the farmers. They improve biodiversity in a certain area, reduce soil erosion, and improve the capacity of soil to hold water. Integrating trees on farms is beneficial for farmers, especially those struggling to cope with the impacts of climate change. These impacts, which include stronger typhoons and longer droughts, can critically damage farms threatening the food security and livelihoods of farmers.

Realizing the potential of trees-on-farms to achieve climate change adaptation and mitigation targets, the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) launched a small agroforestry project in Guinayangan, a Climate-Smart Village (CSV) in Quezon Province, Philippines. Launched in 2013, the project was supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA) and the local government through the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist.

This blog first appeared on the website of CCAFS

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