Dr Zachary Tchoundjeu – on agroforestry in Africa

Dr Zachary Tchoundjeu is the World Agroforestry Centre Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa.

The positive effects of agroforestry in Africa

In your opinion, are efforts to develop agroforestry in Africa having an impact?

Yes. Encouraging farmers to grow better varieties of indigenous fruit trees is certainly improving smallholders’ livelihoods and boosting the local economy. When farmers plant trees like African plum, they become less dependent on the commodity markets and produce a crop that they can both eat and sell.

Through my work with the World Agroforestry Centre over the past few years, I’ve seen a dramatic change in the West and Central African landscape, one that I hope will continue well into the future.

I’m sure that if you visit this part of Africa in 10 years’ time, you’ll see improved varieties of indigenous fruit tree on every smallholding. I also think you’ll see a greater diversity of tree crops and a much more complex, more sustainable environment. Because of this, I believe the people in this area will also be healthier and better off.

What’s more, this is a story I believe could be repeated across Africa, if we have the political will to push these initiatives forward.

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