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Definition: Agroforestry

It is the integration of agriculture and forestry such that the land can be used simultaneously for more than one purpose. It has both environmental and financial implication. The presence of forest cover provides shelter to live stock and helps bind the top soil improving crop productivity. Agro forestry also helps farmers to rotate their crops as per market demand and provides land owners with multiple source of income.

Agro forestry can be categorized into many forms on the basis of the problems it addresses. They are also categorized on the economic constraints and the objectives it fulfils. Some of the categories are as follows:

• Parklands

• Shade systems

• Crop-over-tree systems

• Alley cropping

• Strip cropping

• Fauna-based systems

• Boundary systems

• Taungyas

Some of them are being discussed here :


These are the presence of trees, generally of a specific species scattered sporadically with the purpose of providing shades and protect crops against high winds. Some of them also provide rich nutrient for the soil and enhances productivity.

Crop-over-tree systems

They are grown primarily to increase soil nutrient and prevent soil erosion. They employ woody perennials in the role of a cover crop.

Alley cropping

In this of agro forestry crops and trees are placed alternatively. The trees are pruned before planting. These have proved to be advantageous in African nations with the use of nitrogen fixing trees improving maize yields.

Strip cropping

This is similar to alley cropping with trees alternating with crops. However in strip the trees are planted in wide strip instead of trees being planted in single row as in alley cropping. In strip cropping the tree provides fruit and nuts while at the same time protects the soil from erosion and strong winds.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Agroforestry along with its overview.


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