Tree planting to boost farm production
While farmers are being urged to plant more trees on their farms, many have concerns that trees will compete with their crops for water, nutrients and light, and so reduce their crop yields. Jonathan Muriuki, a scientist from the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, emphasises that farmers need to choose the right species of tree and shrub to plant in the right places. But appropriate tree planting can improve soil fertility and water holding capacity, reduce erosion and boost crop yields. Farmers can also use some nitrogen-fixing species to restore the fertility of fallow land, and planting timber species in woodlots or along farm boundaries provides valuable income.
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