24 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Adopt Agro-Forestry

THE Forestry Commission has urged farmers to adopt agro-forestry as a way of spreading risks associated with adverse weather in conventional farming and to broaden their income base as well.

Midlands provincial forestry extension manager Mr Nyasha Poto-Joe told journalists on a tour of the province's agro-forestry projects on Wednesday that the practice allowed farmers to grow both crops and trees at the same time on the same piece of land.

"This is a relatively new farming method in Zimbabwe. The method has numerous advantages over the conventional methods.

"Trees will provide nutrients to the plants and also help to build good soil structure. Some of the trees are also vital in controlling weeds, pests and soil erosion," said Mr Poto-Joe.

Mvuma farmer Mr Tamuka Matambo said that he had been practicing agro-forestry for the past four years and had managed to score better yields than his neighbours who use the conventional methods.

"I practice alley cropping in which I grow crops like sorghum, rapoko, sugar beans, buck wheat and potatoes alongside trees such as leucaena, gliricidia, pigeon pea and acacia angustissima," he said.

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