February 10th, 2017
Tree-based production systems for Africa’s drylands
Published by World Bank, August 19th, 2016
This book, published (PDF) by the World Bank, identifies some of the most promising investment opportunities at the level of tree-based systems, species (products), and well-defined management practices for accelerating rural economic growth in the drylands. This book is one of a series of thematic books prepared for the study, “Confronting Drought in Africa’s Drylands: Opportunities for Enhancing Resilience.” Trees, with their deep rooting systems, maintain their standing value and offer some production even in drought years. They are therefore a good buffer against climatic risk and are a critical element in a diversification strategy designed to maintain levels of consumption and income in good times and bad.In addition, their value can be tapped when it is most needed: wood from trees can be harvested throughout the year, and many annual tree products are harvested at times different from the times when annual crops are harvested. The potential of tree-based systems is not always appreciated, however, so work remains to be done tochange the mindsets of policy makers, development professionals, and even technical specialists such as researchers and extension agents. For many, mixing trees with crops is considered unconventional and to be avoided, yet a growing body of evidence suggests that successfully integrating trees into farming and livestock keeping activities can be extremely profitable, provided the appropriate species and management practices are used.