Agroforestry is crucial to the food production challenge

People under a fertiliser tree in EthiopiaThe IPCC’s latest report says that that climate change has “already affected agriculture, human health, ecosystems on land and in the oceans, water supplies, and some people’s livelihoods.”

In agriculture the solution lies in complexity, which promises a resilience to extremes which fragile monocrop systems can’t match.

Farmers know that producing many different crops protects them from the price swings in any one of them. Planting several varieties is also protection against disease.

Beyond this, scientists now know what to do to make farming generally more resilient to climate change. Agroforestry is a promising suite of climate smart techniques that farms trees together: trees provide shade, nitrogen, and other benefits. This can benefit key crops such as maize, wheat and coffee, as has already been done with tea for generations.

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