The Feasibility of Agroforestry As an Independent Industry
Agriculture and forestry products, which include livestock production, farming and ranching, and forest products like nuts, fibers, and seeds are intimately linked and interdependent. Agriculture relies on natural fertilizers to improve the productivity and yield of agricultural land. Moreover, the agricultural sector greatly affects the environment. The problem is that many farmers, rural and urban, do not fully recognize the environmental impact of their agricultural production and processing before they embark on agricultural production.
There is a great potential for agroforestry in developing countries because of the lack of land for agricultural development. This in turn, makes rice and other farm inputs more affordable. In addition, most of these rural areas lack access to improved fertilizers and other chemicals for proper fertilizer application. This facilitates the use of eco-friendly and non-chemical agricultural and forestry products for boosting the productivity of the land and ensuring food supply.
The scope of agroforestry in the developing world is enormous. A small area of land can be utilized for thousands of years to grow trees and other crops. At the same time, sustainable farming techniques can reduce the adverse environmental impact of agriculture. In this regard, many governments have encouraged agroforestry development. For example, Brazil, the Brazilian State Department of Livestics, and the United Nations Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have made it easier for the rural population to access agricultural grants for setting up ranching and farming industries. These government programs aim to strengthen rural communities through the creation of rural economic development units.
Another advantage of agroforestry is its contribution to food security. Modern day agriculture is based primarily on irrigation systems that are dependent on water. Without dependable hydropower sources, agriculture will cease to exist. Agroforestry, however, provides a number of sources of clean and fresh water such as rainwater, which are free, and irrigation for fields, pastures and ranches. In addition, arable land is no longer a problem as most plants can be grown for domestic consumption.
Another advantage of agroforestry is its contribution to food security. It provides farmlands with crops that can be processed into various types of food. Thus, rural workers can benefit from their productive agricultural lands by being able to buy rice at subsidized prices or sell surplus rice to earn income. This increases the standard of living in developing countries and helps stabilize the food supply.
In some areas, low-priced rice is now being imported from China, Vietnam, and the Philippines due to the availability of cheap rice paddies in these regions. As a result, rice farming has become more organized and has become an important sector in local communities. The government has promoted rice cultivation by providing subsidies, loans, and technical assistance to local farmers. In addition, various private companies have joined in the effort to develop rice paddies for irrigation, as its use would not only bring benefits to low-income groups but also help support the country’s agricultural production and relieve rural poverty.
Agriculture also provides direct employment to many people. At the small-scale level, it supports the construction of roads, buildings, storage tanks, and other infrastructure needs. In urban areas, the employment potential is highly diversified, as many different types of jobs can be performed on the farms and ranches. Animal husbandry is another important sector, allowing people to earn a living by raising cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry. These animals are used for milk, meat, and eggs. Oftentimes, farmers are also able to market and process livestock products like poultry and eggs.
Forests cover a very large percentage of the earth’s surface. Extensive forestation can have a significant impact on the environment. It causes pollution due to the creation of new landfills, chemical dumping, and carbon emissions. It can also affect water quality and the health of human beings. Agroforestry is therefore an important part of ecological management and should be sustainable. This is best promoted through proper implementation of policies and programs that promote conservation of land and habitat.