Tree-Based Production Systems for Africa’s Drylands
Tree-based production systems have enormous potential to reduce vulnerability and increase the resilience of households living in dryland regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Trees are key providers of biomass, which is critical for many livelihood needs. Wood from trees is the leading source of energy in many dryland countries and is an important construction material. Foliage and pods from trees and shrubs are the most important source of feed for camels and goats, which are the dominant livestock species in the more arid parts of the drylands. Trees and shrubs offer enhanced sources of the organic matter needed to improve the structure and raise the fertility of soils used for agriculture. Many parts of trees provide different medicinal products for people. And fruits and vegetable foliage harvested from trees are important seasonal food sources for people living in drylands, and for sale. The benefi ts from trees take on added value when one considers that they are relatively impervious to many of the shocks that affect other production systems, especially livestock keeping and agriculture. Trees, with their deep rooting systems, maintain their standing value and offer some production even in drought years. They are therefore a good buffer against climatic risk and are a critical element in a diversifi cation strategy designed to maintain levels of consumption and income in good times and bad. In addition, their value can be tapped when it is most needed: wood from trees can be harvested throughout the year, and many annual tree products are harvested at times different from the times when annual crops are harvested. Tree-Based Production Systems for Africa’s Drylands identifi es some of the most promising investment opportunities at the level of tree-based systems, species (products), and well-defi ned management practices for accelerating rural economic growth in the drylands.
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- Vedeld, Paul & Angelsen, Arild & Bojo, Jan & Sjaastad, Espen & Kobugabe Berg, Gertrude, 2007. "Forest environmental incomes and the rural poor," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(7), pages 869-879, April.
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