Forests: The greenest pastures?

Ethiopia – How can you keep farms productive for generations while reducing the impact on the environment? In sub-Saharan Africa, the answer might be forests – and cow poo.

Agricultural intensification – producing more food on less land – has relieved the hunger of millions, through a combination of improved crop variety, fertilizers and irrigation. This “Green Revolution” has improved food security in many countries, but it has also had unforeseen environmental and social consequences. Farming the same land over and over can deplete the nutrients in the soil, and to restore them, the conventional approach has relied on chemical fertilizers and fossil-fuel guzzling machinery to distribute them.

‘Sustainable agricultural intensification’ seeks to find another way, and a new study has found promising evidence that retaining forests in agricultural landscapes can have a dramatic effect on the productivity, resilience, sustainability and social equality of nearby farms. Read the full story on Forests News.