Agroforestry Systems in Nigeria: Review of Concepts and Practices
The paper reviews agroforestry systems, highlighting their potential and significance with the aim of improving its adoption. Cultivating trees and agricultural crops in intimate combination with one another is an ancient practice that farmers have used throughout the world. Agroforestry can be viewed as a societal response, primarily born out of a need to fulfill immediate basic human needs of food, fuel, fodder, shelter, protection etc. Effort to define Agroforestry began in the mid 1970s and evolved rapidly as studies began on the diversity and scope of Agroforestry practices. There are three basic types of Agroforestry systems viz: Agrisilviculture (Crops + trees), silvopastoral (Pasture/animal + trees); and Agrosilvopastoral (crops + pasture + trees). Other specified Agroforestry can also be defined e.g. apiculture (bees with trees), aquaculture (fishes with trees and shrubs) and multipurpose tree lots). Agroforetry is becoming recognized as a land use system which is capable of yielding both wood and food while at the same time conserving and rehabilitating ecosystems. There is therefore the dire need for an aggressive Agroforestry extension to convince farmers to adopt this farming system, most of which is fast disappearing at the former places it was earlier practiced.