Trees for life

Agroforestry provides a living for at least 1.2 billion people—approximately a sixth of humanity —and nearly all of us use and consume some of the goods and services it provides. The coffee you had for breakfast, the chocolate you’ll have after dinner, the rubber in your bicycle tyres: there’s a good chance they’ll have come from agroforestry systems which yield timber, fruit and firewood as well as coffee, cocoa beans and latex. If you live in East Africa, the milk you drink may come from smallholdings where fodder trees provide dairy cows with their main source of protein. In an increasing number of countries, many staple food crops—maize, millet, sorghum— are grown in fields whose fertility comes from nitrogen-enhancing trees, rather than bags of expensive mineral fertiliser.

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