Using tree-based subsistence farming

Family agroforestry
Subsistence agroforestry
Homestead agroforestry
Raising tree-gardens

The homestead agroforestry system is very important in the economy of Bangladesh. The many wood species grown in the homesteads are a significant source of fuelwood; they also provide fodder, building materials and other forms of wood. In the context of the prevailing shortage of fuelwood and excessive deforestation in Bangladesh, research indicates that this homestead agroforestry system needs to be strengthened. The prospects for improving homestead agroforestry systems are good because most respondents own their homesteads and believe there is room for more trees on them. Although they know that raising trees is relatively difficult and requires special practices, they are familiar with the government nurseries and local agricultural extension officers, and are confident about the success of the programme. Results also indicate that multipurpose trees and specific modules for involving women in the farm operations are likely to enhance success of the programme.

The benefits of traditional agroforestry practices in various climatic regions of Rajashthan, India have been listed as: (1) meeting fuel requirements, (2) fencing materials, (3) construction of lodging, (4) fodder, (5) food for human consumption, and (6) protection against soil erosion and green manure. Different types of trees are used to meet the communities' specific needs, in particular Bordi and Khejri species. In the tropics, uncertain supplies and increasing costs of feed, fertilizer and food, coupled with projected population increases, are giving the leguminous trees with browse foliage a status they have never enjoyed previously. Such trees and shrubs play a dual role in the forage supply, serving both as shade for grass and as forage themselves. Stock raising in the dry tropics would be impossible without shrubs and trees; pasture grasses die when the upper soil layers lose their moisture but tree roots exploit deep underground moisture and they continue to flourish.

Kerala State on the southwestern coast of India in the tropical humid zone has a predominantly agricultural economy, a very high density of population and therefore a high pressure on cultivable land. The farmers undertake the cultivation of an array of crops -- tree crops, plantation crops, annuals and biennials -- all in intimate mixtures on the same piece of land around the homesteads. Farm animals, poultry, and sometimes fisheries also are essential components of the system. The close association of agricultural crops, tree crops, and animals in the homesteads represents an excellent example of sustainable and productive agroforestry home gardens. Optimum utilization of available resources of land, solar energy, technological inputs, and an efficient recycling of farm wastes are important characteristics of the systems. The system has elements of stability, productivity, and sustainability, with merits and constraints as well as research needs.

The Mussau Islanders of the Bismarck Archipelago in northeastern Papua New Guinea cultivate 26 indigenous tree species both for food and non-food uses in tree gardens surrounding the villages. Several trees which volunteer in these arboriculture zones are also tended and encouraged. Coconut is the most frequent species in the arboriculture zone and is randomly distributed. Vertical stratification is attributable to the presence of a distinct herb layer and a subcanopy stratum of mature [Pandanus] ssp. The stratification of some species pairs results from the deliberate planting of subcanopy trees next to canopy trees. The introduction of exotic garden species and the increasing availability of western packaged foods is changing the composition of traditional Mussau Island tree gardens.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 15: Life on Land