Sustainable Agroforestry Crop Rotation System for the Tropics: A Theoretical Exposition

  •  Sir Anthony Wakwe Lawrence    


Population pressure is the key reason that has been reducing the duration of fallow in shifting cultivation. In many places, it has changed to bush fallow and subsequently is going towards the need to use available arable lands continuously. As a result, soil productivity is declining since long fallow is required for its regeneration after land is planted for a few years. An agroforestry tree crop/arable crop rotation system was proposed to mimic the natural fallow system and improve nutrient recycling through litter drops, which will improve soil organic matter. As soil organic matter improves the soil structure in addition to the ability of the soil to retain nutrients and water, the land becomes suitable for continuous crop production with appropriate fertilization regimes. The proposed tree crop/arable crop rotation will therefore result in continuous generation of income from harvestable produce in the rotation system year in year out. The paper, equally elucidated on other benefits of rotating tree crops with arable crops on the same land towards achieving maximum land productivity and obtaining benefits from the land without subjecting the land to the traditional fallowing system. This intervention will reduce abject poverty (SDG1), reduce acute hunger (SDG2), promote sustainable economic activities and growth, increase employment and decent work (SDG8) and promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation (SDG9). The paper also identified the challenges associated with this type of rotation system and proffered suggestions on how to ameliorate such challenges.

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