An assessment of alternative perennials for use in agroforestry systems of smallholder farmers.
Current crop production systems in Zimbabwe are vulnerable, especially in drought years, as the country is now and again affected by the El Niño phenomenon. The majority of the population live in drought-stricken areas with infertile soil where poverty is a major problem. Agricultural strategies should aim to achieve the multiple goals of the farmers, which include household food security, increased cash incomes, increased crop diversity, and an improvement in soil fertility. The AFCD is making plans to collaborate with others to promote the adoption, through participatory approaches, of sustainable farming systems in the communal areas of the country. These systems emphasise the improvement of farm management skills in order to use fertilizer more efficiently, to control pests and diseases, and soil and water conservation. This paper describes the underlying principles for the development of sustainable farming systems and the ACFD's experience with agroforestry trees like castor oil, jatropha, and pigeon peas, that minimise the risk of soil degradation and provide other benefits.
Transactions of the Zimbabwe Scientific Association Volume 72 (Supplement) 1998, pp. 66-68