What we are learning from Others.

 Agroforestry :
 

Moringa /Oleifera & Other legumes

Human existence is inextricably linked to the environment. Throughout the world, people depend on the exploitation of natural resources. However, circumstances such as extreme poverty can force individuals to over-exploit these resources in order to survive. This creates a paradox: To ensure their immediate survival, humans are using natural resources at a rate that jeopardizes their future survival. The very resources upon which human lives depend are being exploited at an unsustainable rate. The future unavailability of key resources will lead to further human poverty and to the loss of the very natural resource heritage that provides us with life and nurtures our spirits. It is evident that if over-exploitation of natural resources persists at the present rate, an environmental crisis will lead directly to a human crisis. 

 

FPI has chosen Moringa as its agroforestry project to create economic benefits for investors and local communities while contributing to building resilient landscapes. Specifically, the combination of trees and other woody plants with agricultural crops or animal husbandry contributes to Soil improvement, erosion-control, water availability and favourable micro-climatic conditions. 

Agroforestry is the intentional integration of trees and shrubs into crop and animal farming systems to create environmental, economic, and social benefits. It has been practised around the world for centuries. Read more>>>>

There is a greater need to encourage people to plant back trees that are being cut through promoting agroforestry using different leguminous plants used in the agroforestry system

What we learning from Others
What we learning from Others
What we are learning from Others.
Forest

Agroforestry has now become indispensable in order to meet increasing demands for agricultural and timber products.  The advantages of agroforestry, which consists of associating tree planting with agricultural crops or livestock breeding, are many:

  • it contributes to the fight against climate change thanks to tree planting and optimal land-use management, as an alternative to practices of deforestation and forest degradation;

  • it preserves biodiversity through a large variety of possible crops,

  • it reduces poverty by providing local communities with economic opportunities, often leading to higher and more sustained incomes.

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A well-managed agroforestry project reduces economic, social and environmental risks, generating higher long-term profitability.

 

For a management practice to be called agroforestry, it typically must satisfy the four "i"s:

  • Intentional,

  • Intensive,

  • Integrated, and

  • Interactive.

Forest
What we are learning from Others.
Forest
What we are learning from Others.

Agroforestry practices support agricultural production and help improve water quality and air quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat. These working trees can also grow fibre, food, and energy,

Agroforestry works in a great way as tree roots reach deep into the ground to cycle nutrients and store carbon, while above ground, the trees protect crops and animals against the elements.

Planting trees between crops reduce soil erosion – their roots bind the soil in place so that it doesn’t wash awash during heavy rain or strong wind, which can otherwise cause huge problems for farmers.  They also take up water, preventing water pollution from reaching our ponds and rivers.

Agroforestry Farming Systems

Alley cropping means planting crops between rows of trees to provide income while the trees mature. The system can be designed to produce fruits, vegetables, grains, flowers, herbs, bioenergy feedstocks, and more.

Forest farming operations grow food, herbal, botanical, or decorative crops under a forest canopy that is managed to provide ideal shade levels as well as other products. Forest farming is also called multi-story cropping.

Silvopasture combines trees with livestock and their forages on one piece of land. The trees provide timber, fruit, or nuts as well as shade and shelter for livestock and their forages, reducing stress on the animals from the hot summer sun, cold winter winds, or a downpour.

Linear Agroforestry Practices

Riparian forest buffers are natural or re-established areas along rivers and streams made up of trees, shrubs, and grasses. These buffers can help filter farm runoff while the roots stabilize the banks of streams, rivers, lakes and ponds to prevent erosion. These areas can also support wildlife and provide another source of income.

Windbreaks shelter crops, animals, buildings, and soil from wind, snow, dust, and odours. These areas can also support wildlife and provide another source of income. They are also called shelterbelts, hedgerows, or living snow fences.

 

Examples of proven successful agroforestry profitable farming include:

  • Moringa Plantations

  • Permanent crops (coffee, cocoa, tea, etc.) under tree shade;

  • Timber plantations with sequential agroforestry;

  • Orchards (fruit and nut trees) with crops;

  • Sylvopastoralism combines livestock with trees.

Read more about other agroforest legumes here>>>>>>

 
Sun through the Branches

MORINGA AGROFORESTRY 

Farmer's Pride International is all about promoting the sustainability and management of the ecology as well as achieving its mission on transformative agriculture for climate resilience and mitigation.  It puts much attention on Agroforestry and has chosen the Moringa tree project as part of its Global Agroforestry intervention.

Moringa’s agroforestry projects create economic benefits for investors and local communities while contributing to building resilient landscapes. Specifically, the combination of trees and other woody plants with agricultural crops or animal husbandry contributes to:

  • Soil improvement, erosion-control, water availability and favourable micro-climatic conditions;

  • The sustainable production of timber and firewood, as well as tree crops (fruit and nuts) and agricultural crops, thus avoiding deforestation in adjacent forest areas;

  • Higher productivity and profitability;

  • Resilience in relation to changing climatic conditions;

  • Social stability, local entrepreneurship and employment;

  • The long-term viability of the local economy and livelihood of local communities.

 

Sustainable Moringa's agroforestry projects create economic benefits for investors and local communities while contributing to building resilient landscapes. Specifically, 

ECOLOGY

Readily colonizes stream banks and savannah areas where the soil is well-drained and the water table remains fairly high all year-round. It is quite a drought tolerant but yields much less foliage where it is continuously under water stress. It is not harmed by frost but can be killed back to ground level by a freeze. It quickly sends out new growth from the trunk when cut, or from the ground when frozen.

 

BIOPHYSICAL LIMITS Altitude:

 

0-1 000 m, Mean annual temperature: 12.6 to 40 deg. C, Mean annual rainfall: At least 500 mm Soil type: A adapted to a wide range of soil types but does well in well-drained clay or clay loam without prolonged waterlogging. Prefers a neutral to slightly acidic soil reaction, but it has recently been introduced with success in Pacific atolls where the pH is as high as 8.5.

 

  • Dimensions in meters:                             10-12 m

  • Maturity of the tree before yield:          6-8 months (first harvest) 3-4 years (full yield)

  • Productivity lifetime:                                30-40 years

SeasonalityIts leaves can be harvested every two months, on average. The drumstick bean-pod harvests vary by latitude. For example, in northern India, the pod is typically harvested once per year, while in southern India, fruiting occurs between July–September and April–May.

Production zones and cultivation methods drumstick trees are fast-growing. In just six months, it can reach 5 m in height. It is drought-resistant and does well in a range of climates including tropical, sub-tropical and semi-arid.

 

Because of its spreading leaf canopy, M. oleifera is useful in intercropping agroforestry systems where trees are needed to provide shade. They can be cultivated from either seeds or cuttings in well-drained sandy or loam soil with a neutral pH level.

USES:

Drumstick pods are eaten as a vegetable and are either cooked or pickled. In parts of Africa, the pods are used in savoury sauces while in Southeast Asia they are most often added to curries. The leaves can be used as an alternative for spinach and cooked in soups. Its flowers are also edible.

In agroforestry systems, Moringa oleifera can play a vital role in soil and water conservation due to its high drought tolerance and wide-spread canopy, which shades the soil. Drumstick’s fast growth and adaptability to different climates may also aid in landscape restoration.

The incredible nutrient density of drumstick pods and leaves offers a valuable food source to developing communities that could reduce malnutrition. In addition, the plant’s rising popularity as a nutritional supplement could spark new value chains centred on the species and generate more income for smallholders. Already, Indian smallholders who intercrop with drumsticks have been shown to be better off financially than their neighbours who practice monocropping.

In addition to food and medicine, every part of the plant has some use. The seeds contain up to 40 per cent oil, which is used for cooking, hair and skincare products. When crushed, the seed releases extracts that have been shown to help purify water through the mechanism of flocculation; these protein-based extracts are also promising anti-microbial agents. Both the leaves and pods can also be used to produce biogas, while the stem contains gum that is used to tan leather and print calico.

M. oleifera is sometimes referred to as a “miracle tree” for its health benefits. The plant is very rich in healthy antioxidants and other chemical compounds that promote good health. For these reasons, it has been used in traditional medicine throughout Southeast Asia for thousands of years. Recently, it has become popular in Western markets. Consuming powdered leaves has been shown to have some effect in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol in rabbits. Extracts from the plant may also help treat asthma, diabetes, athlete’s foot fungus and menopause symptoms. However, only a fraction of the many reputed benefits from the plant have been scientifically studied

TREE MANAGEMENT

 

Moringa is an extremely fast-growing tree, and within 1-3 months trees reach 2.5 m. Constant pruning of up to 1.5 m/year is suggested to obtain a thick-limbed and multi-branched shrub. Trees are commonly grown for their leaves, and topping-out is useful to keep an abundant supply of leaves, pods and flowers within easy reach. M. oleifera responds well to mulch, water and fertilizer. Growth is stunted in areas with a high water table. It coppices and pollards well.

 

GEMPLASM MANAGEMENT

 

Seed storage behaviour is orthodox; viability can be maintained for several years in hermetic storage at 3 deg. C with 5- 8% mc. Seeds should be collected from well-developed pods, but difficulties arise because seeds drop continually.

 

PESTS AND DISEASES

 

Root rot (Diplodia spp.) and papaya powdery mildew (Levellula taurica) have been observed. The hairy caterpillar Eupterote mollifera causes defoliation but can be controlled by spraying the tree with fish oil, resin soap or BHC.