In his recent blog Three steps to bridging the yield gap, CABI author Prof. Roger Leakey, explains how agroforestry can help to sustainably increase the productivity of crops. In brief, these are as follows:
Step 1 – Adopt agroforestry practices such as improved fallows and relay cropping to enhance crop yields.
Step 2 – Diversify the agroecosystem by including fruits, nuts and other cash crops in plantings.
Step 3 – Encourage local communities to develop value-adding and processing technologies for new tree crop products.
If followed, the steps could provide not only increased income for local communities but also a more diversified diet with plantings of new crops and an increase in employment and trade.
This three-step model provides both a “simple and inexpensive process to fill the yield gap” says Prof. Leakey.
Prof. Leakey has recently published a book on this subject entitled Living with the Trees of Life: Towards the Transformation of Tropical Agriculture