Agroforestry In Latin America

780 Words 4 Pages
Agroforestry techniques are utilized in many parts of the world including Latin America (Sharma et al., 2016). “Agroforestry has been practiced since agriculture began, although it has been studied as a scientific discipline for only 30 years” (Somarriba et al., 2012, p. 430). Agroforestry techniques can improve lands that have been degraded by past uses. According to Somarriba et al. (2012), Latin America now has between “200 and 357 million hectares” of productive agroforestry land. The techniques involved in creating productive agroforestry land include agrisilvicultural, silvipastoral, and agrosilvipastoral systems (Shapiro & Frank, 2016, p. 4). Agrisilviculture combines crops with woody perennials; silvopastoral combines trees, pastures, …show more content…
In the Peruvian Amazon, slash-and-burn methods are utilized to provide nutrients to the soils from the woods’ biomass (Weber et al., 2001, p. 425). The nutrients that accumulate in the soil from this process provide roughly “one to three years of cropping before fields are left fallow or are converted to pasture due to severely degraded soil and low crop yields” (Weber et al., 2001, 425). In trying to provide food and money for their families, the people in the area had not realized that the results of their practices would lead to significant loss of forestry habitat. By integrating trees back onto the farm to help stabilize the soils and by learning good management practices, the overall productivity of the land is increased (Winterbottom, 2014). With the use of agroforestry practices, farmers can potentially help restore their land back to the environment it once was. Agroforestry doesn’t just reduce the need for clear-cutting, but it also helps to enhance the overall soil and water quality as …show more content…
320). This research revealed that agroforestry practices in Quesungual, a mountainous area in western Honduras, have proven to reduce erosion especially on the steep hillsides present in this region (Fonte, Barrios & Six, 2010, p. 321). They concluded that the large amount of leaves and their high nutrient quality, supplied a food source for the soil ecosystem and acted as a natural regulator in temperature and moisture fluctuations (Fonte, Barrios & Six, 2010, p. 324). Agroforestry shows potential to significantly improve soil health and increase overall quality of a degraded environment (Fonte, Barrios, & Six, 2010, p. 327). Research about agroforestry’s potential benefits and use in degraded landscapes is still being conducted in order to fully understand how agroforestry can be incorporated successfully throughout the world. Agroforestry systems also allow people to sustainably produce crops and products to increase their food sources, provide a livelihood, and provide local biodiversity in the

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