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We’re Not the Only Ones: Planting Trees and Crops Together Produces Dramatic Results


Written by Plant With Purpose on October 24, 2011 in General

Last week, BBC published an article reporting that “Trees ‘boost African crop yields and food security.’”

At Plant With Purpose, we have long believed that planting trees alongside crops (a technique called agroforestry—agro: food + forestry: trees) can improve yields, restore soil quality, and increase the incomes of rural farmers in Africa and around the world.

As if this post hasn’t already been technical enough, this process can also be called Fertilizer Tree Systems, or FTS. The article reports that “Some of the studies have shown that in TFS across Africa as a whole, yields are doubling or more in two-thirds of cases.”

We’ve seen a similar improvement across our programs. In the Dominican Republic,  beneficiaries showed a doubling of farm income, were three times more likely to have diversified their cropping systems, and were 35% more likely to express a high degree of improvement in their overall health in comparison to other farmers. In Tanzania, 76% of the farmers we work with have witnessed improved soil quality on their land. The improvement in soil quality has also led to increased yields ranging between 50% to 200% more production, and enables farmers to extend their growing season, creating greater economic stability.

We are proud to be a part of this “growing movement of agricultural innovations across Africa that [are] increasing yields and at the same time improving the environment.”

You can check out the full article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15305271

To donate to Plant With Purpose’s sustainable agriculture programs and empower families to improve their lives and land, click here.


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