Dr Dennis Garrity, Dryland Ambassador of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification has advocated an EverGreen Agriculture for smallholder farmers to safeguard land degradation, food security and climate change.
EverGreen Agriculture is a form of more intensive farming that integrates trees with annual crops to sustain a green cover on the land throughout the year.
Dr Garrity told the Ghana News Agency in Rio de Janeiro at the weekend that: “it will also increase family food production and cash income.
EverGreen Agriculture is an emerging affordable and accessible science-based solution to regenerate the land on small scale farms.
He said some of the benefits of the principle included enhanced carbon storage both above-ground and belowground, greater quantities of organic matter in soil surface residues and greater direct production of food, fodder, fuel, fiber.
“EvenGreen Agriculture allows us to glimpse a future of more environmentally sound farming where much of our annual food crop production occurs under a full canopy of trees,” he said.
Dr Garrity noted that the principle have already been widely applied in Africa, where complexity was a common feature of the agricultural system.
“Millions of women and men farmers in Zambia, Malawi, Niger and Burkina Faso are already practicing the technology,” he added.
He explained that Africa was critically threatened by food security, land degradation and climate change and smallholder farmers needed science-based solutions to increase the efficiency of their crop production.
The Dryland Ambassador said the technology broadens the principle of crop rotation to encompass the role of fertilizer tress and other cash crop tress to provide the needed biological and income diversity in farming system.
He announced that an EvenGreen Agriculture network was evolving to support farmers with information, capacity building and knowledge they needed to make effective implementation.