Agroforestry Essay

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El Salvador is the smallest but the most densely populated country in Mesoamerica. It has a tropical climate broken into a rainy season (May – October) and a dry season (November – April). The rainy season is characterized by severe storms, hurricanes and rain events, the dry season sees long periods of severe drought and low rainfall (Urrea, 2013). Smallholder farmers of El Salvador, who are suffering poverty, mostly located in the mountainous regions of the country, which locate in high elevation with a large amount of rainfall. Coffee and sugarcane are the major crops of El Salvador. They take a large percentage of agricultural output. Maize, beans and some tropical fruits are also important agricultural product in El Salvador. Agricultural…show more content…
Agroforestry is defined as an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and livestock. It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems (Umrani et al. 2010). One particular type of agroforestry that would be beneficial if implemented in El Salvador is silvopastoral systems. This system have been successful in Central America focusing on utilizing woody perennial plants in pastures to improve cattle nutrition in dry season and help mitigate damage of overgrazing delicate grasses (Ibrahim et al., 2001). Economically, silvopastoral systems provide additional income in hard seasons for livestock farmers. Silvopastoral systems are more economically safe as the trees provide shade and improve soils for pastures, and when the animal prices drop, they are able to use their trees for timber (Camargo et al., 2005). Another type of agroforestry is live fences, which are fences of planted trees that divide pasture. Live fences have multiple benefits for both the farmer and the ecosystem: fodder for cattle, firewood, fruit, provide habitat for wild animals and connect wooded areas separated by agriculture (Harvey et al., 2005). This means that the biodiversity is conserved. Live fences in livestock areas also promote butterfly and bee conservation (Tobar and Ibrahim,…show more content…
Farmers prune trees to 1.5-2 metres and clear vegetation. The trees that remain provide fruit, fuelwood, shade for crops and assist water movement in the soil (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, n.d.). According to (Castra et al. 2009): It is originating from southwestern Honduras but has spread to other regions in Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. QSMAS focus on smallholder farmers minimizing land degradation while simultaneously providing an easily adoptable method to the current slash and burn practices. Slash and mulch can reduce deforestation, reduce soil erosion, provide nutrients. Economically, it is easy to implement with less labour and produce additional products such as fruits and fuelwood. This system has had almost doubled yields, increased field lifetime and created more durable soil and crops to withstand natural hazards of drought, hurricanes and landslides (Holt-Gimenez,
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