Agroforestry Practices and Mitigation Impact on Climate Change: Case Study of Umuahia South, Abia State, South East Nigeria
Studies on the status of agroforestry practices in Umuahia south were undertaken to identify the existing agroforestry systems, access their mitigation impact on climate change and constraints to productive and sustainable agroforestry systems. The intentional integration of trees and shrubs into crop and animal farming systems to create environmental, economic and social benefits are the goals of agroforestry. Variants of agrisilviculture – home gardens, random mix tree-arable crop mixtures, live fences, boundary planting and the bush fallow system are common in the area. Silvipastoral and agrosilvipastoral systems are practiced, especially for small ruminant (sheep and goat and piggery) production. The mean livestock holding and the mean sheep: goat ratio in the study area is 11 (4 sheep + 7 goats) and 1:1:5 respectively. Mushrooms, snail and honey are collected from the wild. The farmers interviewed indicated their willingness to utilize modern techniques in the production of these forest food resources in their agroforestry farms. The State government through the ADP’s agroforestry unit has made little or no impact on the farmers interviewed. The paper further examines the role of Agroforestry practices in mitigating climate change impact and offers solutions to identified constraints to increased agroforestry productivity and recommends viable agroforestry practices for climate smart agriculture in Umuahia south. It further shows that agroforestry is a viable technology for increased food, wood and animal production as well as for sustainable climate smart agriculture and management of the environmental resources in Umuahia South.
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