Zero Hunger

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Agroforestry: Multiplying Benefits from Forest Lands

  • Suzana Djordjević-MiloševićEmail author
  • Jelena Milovanović
Living reference work entry
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69626-3_83-1



Agroforestry is a term for an ancient practice of growing trees and shrubs with crops and/or animals on the same piece of land used in last 50 years of more than 10,000 years of interactions between farmers and forests. Back to the history, this active stake was preceded by the passive one – hunting and gathering practices including the exploitation of forests for shipbuilding (Williams 2003 through Van Noordwijk & Coe 2019) which have created need for regeneration of forests at the first place.

The World Agroforestry Centre defines agroforestry as “a dynamic, ecologically based, natural resources management system that, through the integration of trees on farms and in the agricultural landscape, diversifies and sustains production for increased social, economic and environmental benefits for land users at all levels” (Leakey 2017). The evolution of the agroforestry meaning was summarized in the following World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Altieri MN, Nicholls C (2005) Agroecology and the search for a truly sustainable agriculture. United Nations Environment Programme, Mexico
  2. Anderson C (2014) Agroforestry systems. Complex or worse? Department of Energy and Environment Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  3. Bonaudo TB (2014) Agroecological principles for the redesign of integrated crop–livestock systems. Eur J Agron 57:43–51
  4. Borremans L (2019) The development of agroforestry systems in Flanders. A farming systems research approach to social, institutional and economic inquiry. PhD thesis, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels
  5. Bright A, Joret A (2012) Laying hens go undercover to improve production. Vet Rec 170:228
  6. Burgess PJ (2016) Agroforestry: complexity underpinning multiple – benefits from the farm to the landscape. In: Designing the path: a strategic approach to EU agricultural research & innovation. (p. ). AGFORWARD, Brussels
  7. Burgess PJ, Belot V. (2014): The economics of woodland eggs in the UK. 2nd European Agroforestry Conference 4-6 June 2014, Book of Abstracts, (pp. 67–70), Cottbus, European Agroforestry Federation, Germany.
  8. Buttoud G (2013) Advancing agroforestry on the policy agenda: a guide for decision-makers. FAO, Rome
  9. De Foresta H, Somarriba E (2015) Towards the assessment of trees outside forests. Resources assessment working paper 183. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome
  10. Dhyani SH (2013) Area under agroforestry in India: an assessment for present status and future perspective. Indian J Agroforestry 15(1):1–11
  11. Djordjevic-Milosevic SL (1997) Agroforestry in Yugoslavia: revival of tradition. Agroforestry for sustainable land – use: fundamental research and modeling. Montpellier, pp. 51–54
  12. Dollinger J, Jose S (2018) Agroforestry for soil health. Agrofor Syst 2018(92):213–219
  13. FAO (2018) Agroforestry training module. FAO, Forestry Department, Rome
  14. Garrity DA (2006) World agroforestry into the future. World Agroforesty Centre, Nairobi
  15. Gold, M. A. (2017): Agroforestry. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica.
  16. Jacobson, M. A. and Kar, S. (2013): Extent of Agroforestry Extension Programs in the United States. Journal of Extension. Vol. 51 (4),
  17. King K (1987) The history of agroforestry. In: Steppler HA (ed) Agroforestry: a decade of development. ICRAF, Nairobi, pp 1–11
  18. Leakey R (2017) Definition of agroforestry revisited. In: Leakey R (ed) Multifunctional agriculture – achieving sustainable development in Africa. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 5–6
  19. Mbow C, Smith P, Skole D, Duguma LA (2014) Achieving mitigation and adaptation to climate change through sustainable agroforestry practices in Africa. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 6:8–14
  20. McConnell, D.J., K.A.E. Dharmapala S. R. Attanayake (2003) The Forest Farms of Kandy - and Other Gardens of Complete Design, Routledge Studies in Environmental Policy and Practice, ISBN 978-1-351-88963-6
  21. Michon G, de Foresta H (1998) Agro-forests: incorporating a forest vision in agroforestry. In: Louise JP, Buck E (eds) Agroforestry in sustainable agricultural systems, vol 1. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, pp 381–404
  22. Minang PA, Duguma L (2014) Prospects of agroforestry in REDD+ landscapes in Africa. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 6:78–82
  23. Mosquera L, Santiago F, Rois M, Andrea P, Norbert L, Michael DH, … Rigueiro R (2016) CAP and agroforestry practices in Europe. In: 3rd European agroforestry conference. SupAgro, Montpellier, pp 429–431
  24. Mosquera-Losada MR, Santiago-Freijanes JJ (2016) CAP and agroforestry practices in Europe updates on agroforestry policies across Europe. In: 3rd European agroforestry conference – Montpellier, 23–25 May 2016. EURAF – European Agroforestry Federation, pp 429–431
  25. Motis, T. (2007): Agroforestry Principles. Echo Tehnical Note, FL 33917, USA
  26. Mulukh D, Mhaiske VM, Narkhede S, Rane AD (2018) Farmers’ preferences for indigenous trees suitable for agroforestry technologies in Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra state. Adv Agric Res Technol J 2(1):33–39
  27. Munsell JF, Addlestone BJ, Bukowski CJ, Nkembi L, Kingsly N, Moore EA (2018) Relationships between agroforestry and community development according to practitioners. Agrofor Syst 92(5):1387–1396
  28. Nair PS (1973) Harvest of solar energy through intensive multiple cropping. Indian J Agric Sci 43:983–988
  29. Nair P, Garrity D (2012) Agroforestry – the future of global land use. Adv Agroforestry 9:531
  30. Nair PKR, Gordon A (2008) Agroforestry. In: Sven E (ed) Encyclopedia of ecology, vol 1. Elsevier, Oxford, pp 101–110
  31. Nair P, Nair V (2003) Carbon storage in North American agroforestry systems. In: Kimble JH (ed) The potential of U.S. Forest soils to sequester carbon and mitigate the greenhouse effect. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 333–346
  32. Noordwijk MV (2019) Sustainable development through trees on farms: agroforestry in its fifth decade. World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Bogor
  33. Orefice J, Carroll J, Conroy D, Ketner L (2017) Silvopasture practices and perspectives in the Northeasten United States. Agrofor Syst 91:149–160
  34. Peter AM, Lalisa AD, Florence B, Ole M, van Noordwijk M (2014) Prospects for agroforestry in REDD+ landscapes in Africa. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 6:78–82
  35. Pravesh Kumar RS (2014) Quantification and distribution of agroforestry systems and practices at global level. Hort Flora Res Spectrum 3(1):1–6
  36. Ramírez DNA, Bueno AL, Krishnamurthy L, Aviña FE, Sánchez JAE, Gómez MU (2019) Seasonal silvopastoral system with sheep in pine-oak forest: effects on soil and vegetation. Agrofor Syst.  
  37. Rocheleau DW-J (1988) Agroforestry in dryland Africa. ICRAF, Nairobi
  38. Salleh A (2013) The environmental benefits of agroforestry systems in relation to social sustainability. In: International conference on green concept in architecture and environment. Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya
  39. Schoeneberger M, Bentrup G, Patel-Weynand T (eds) (2017) Agroforestry: enhancing resiliency in U.S. agricultural landscapes under changing conditions. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Washington, DC
  40. Rahman, S.A., Jacobsen, J.B., Healey, J.R. et al. Agroforest Syst (2017) 91: 185.  
  41. Torralba M, Fagerholm N, Burgess PJ, Moreno G, Plieninger T (2016) Do European agroforestry systems enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services? A meta-analysis. Agric Ecosyst Environ 230:150–161
  42. Udawatta R, Rankoth L, Jose S (2019) Agroforestry and biodiversity. Sustainability 11(2879):1–22
  43. UMCA (2018) Training manual for applied agroforestry practices – 2018 edition. University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, Columbia
  44. USDA (2012): What is agroforestry. Working Trees Info, pp. 1–2.
  45. USDA (2015): Learn how you can use agroforestry ti help pollinators. Inside Agroforestry, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 1–16
  46. Uthappa AR, Chavan SB, Handa AK, Newaj R, Kumar D, Sridhar KB, Chaturvedi OP (2017) Agroforestry – a sustainable solution to address climate change challenges. In: Agroforestry for increased production and livelihood security. Chapter 1. Available from: . Accessed 31 Oct 2019
  47. Van Noordwijk M, Coe R (2019) Agroforestry paradigms. In: van Noordwijk M (ed) Sustainable development through trees on farms: agroforestry in its fifth decade. World Agroforestry (ICRAF) Southeast Asia Regional Program, Bogor, pp 1–14
  48. Varah AJ (2013) Enhanced biodiversity and pollination in UK agroforestry systems. J Sci Food Agric 93:2073–2075
  49. Williams M (2003) Deforesting the earth: from prehistory to global crisis. University of Chicago Press, Chicago
  50. Wojtkowski, P. (2019): Agroecology: Simplified and Explained. Springer International Publishing  
  51. Wolz KJ, DeLucia EH (2018) Alley cropping: global patterns of species composition and functions. Agric Ecosyst Environ 252:61–68
  52. Workman SB (2003) Agroforestry potential in the southeastern United States: perceptions of land owners and extension professionals. Agrofor Syst 59:73–83
  53. Zamora D, Udawatta RP (2016) Agroforestry as a catalyst for on-farm conservation and diversification. Agrofor Syst 90(5):711–714
  54. Zomer RJ (2009) Trees on farm: analysis of global extent and geographical patterns of agroforestry. World Agroforestry Center, Nairobi
  55. Zomer R, Trabucco A, Coe R, Place F (2009) Trees on farm: analysis of global extent and geographical patterns of agroforestry. ICRAF working paper no. 8. World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi
  56. Zomer RJ, Neufeldt H, Xu J, Ahrends A, Bossio D, Trabucco A, Van Noordwijk M, Wang M (2016) Global tree cover and biomass carbon on agricultural land: the contribution of agroforestry to global and national carbon budgets. Sci Rep 2016(6):29987

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzana Djordjević-Milošević
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jelena Milovanović
    • 1
  1. 1.Environment and Sustainable Development StudiesSingidunum University BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Datu Buyung Agusdinata
    • 1
  1. 1.School of SustainabilityArizona State UniversityTempeUSA