Can agroforestry address food security concerns in a changing climate?
This discussion brief (PDF) by the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI) is based on the workshop “Can agroforestry address food security concerns in a changing climate?” held at Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden in November 2014. The workshop brought together leading scholars-practitioners from five parts of the world – Sweden, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Ecuador – to share knowledge of and aspirations for agroforestry systems. This brief is about the issues and discussions raised at the workshop. Agroforestry practices and multi-functional landscapes have recently returned to the forefront of discussion in response to challenges of the conventional agriculture systems. Developed as part of the cooperation between SIANI and Focali, this Discussion Brief, draws on the case studies from Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Nepal and Kenya. It elaborates on the key points of the discussion around agroforestry, food security and climate change and offers a policy advice for development of agroforestry. All cases highlighted the importance of listening to farmers and understanding their needs, motivations and constraints as well as the need to pick up and facilitate the empowerment instruments suitable for a particular context. As size and value of an agroforestry project are often small, it is important to be realistic of what agroforestry can deliver and not view agroforestry as a panacea. A key finding includes that scaling up agroforestry systems takes time and effort. Clear policies and their effective enforcement as well as the choice of empowerment instruments should suit local context and should take into account local needs in terms of social, historical, cultural, and ecological aspects. Furthermore, Creating incentives and institutional support for creation of global niche and bulk markets is essential. Private sector investment incentives could be made through improved land tenure for farmers, well developed long-term management strategies and reduced.