Agroforestry at work- Call for contributions

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

social card

Increasing the number and diversity of trees in farmland, also known as agroforestry, has long been considered as a key practice for sustainably improving and diversifying farm incomes, nutrition, and resilience to economic and environmental shocks. The ecological benefits are proven and there is no shortage of technical knowledge. However, while agroforestry is an age-old practice in many parts of the tropics, its widespread adoption in intensely managed farms and improvement where already practiced, remains elusive and often characterized as too small to benefit from economies of scale. For all the stated benefits, billions in research and development funding over past decades and billions more pledged to meet a plethora of restoration targets and climate commitments, why do farmers still resist agroforestry adoption and improvement? Is it that the economic benefits for farmers are not enough, or not perceived to be enough? Or are there other reasons?

The forthcoming Tropical Forest Issues will answer these questions by presenting 25 concrete examples of ‘agroforestry at work’ from across the dry and humid tropics, that provide direct and indirect benefits to farming families and the wider economy. It will show where and why agroforestry ‘works’, and how it could be spread by highlighting common reasons for success, thus encouraging farmers to develop and expand more diversified, productive and resilient farming systems.

This edition will focus on tangible benefits of agroforestry systems, including direct cash incomes, domestic use, employment and other community benefits, and impacts on climate change adaptation and mitigation. There are many examples that show ‘theory’ and ‘potential’, but this issue will include only proven successes with clear evidence. Non-monetary or indirect benefits on biodiversity, aesthetic, social, cultural and other ecosystem services or values may be included, but these should not be the core of articles.

If you have a story on successful agroforestry, please send a half page outline to Nick Pasiecznik ( by 28 February 2023

Articles will describe the system and practices, social context, and derived values. Solid economic data must be part of each story. Tentative guiding questions could include the following:

  • What are the direct benefits (financial, food, fuel and fodder security) from practicing agroforestry, and the broader additional benefits? (e.g. risk management)
  • What conditions must be in place for these benefits to be realized, and what are the priorities? (e.g. technical and marketing assistance, capacity strengthening, facilitated peer support, appropriate financing, private sector partnerships, enabling legal, institutional and policy frameworks, etc.)
  • What are the co-benefits in terms of increased resilience to environmental, climatic, and economic changes?

Note that Tropical Forest Issues is not a scientific journal. Plain language is preferred, with only key references, plenty of pictures and few tables and graphs. The target audience includes policy makers and practitioners at all levels: governments, NGOs, and the research, education, finance and private sectors that also want to see more trees and all their benefits realized.

Abstracts can be submitted in any language, before 28 February 2023. They will be reviewed and ranked by the editorial board, and decisions will be returned by 15 March 2023. Successful authors will be asked to prepare a draft article of 3000 words by 30 April 2023, in any language, but editing will be in English. Following review, revision and approval, articles will be published in October 2023, and later translated into French and Spanish.

This issue will be co-edited by Nick Pasiecznik (Tropenbos International) and Emmanuel Torquebiau (CIRAD emeritus), with oversight and support from the editorial board, including Susan Chomba (WRI), David Ganz (RECOFTC), Dennis Garrity (GEA/CIFOR-ICRAF), Sara Scherr (EcoAgriculture partners) and Eduardo Somarriba (CATIE).

Event Calendar

There are no future events at this time.