Scholarly article on topic 'Agroforestry solutions to address food security and climate change challenges in Africa'

Agroforestry solutions to address food security and climate change challenges in Africa Academic research paper on "Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries"

Share paper

Abstract of research paper on Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, author of scientific article — Cheikh Mbow, Meine Van Noordwijk, Eike Luedeling, Henry Neufeldt, Peter A Minang, et al.

Trees inside and outside forests contribute to food security in Africa in the face of climate variability and change. They also provide environmental and social benefits as part of farming livelihoods. Varied ecological and socio-economic conditions have given rise to specific forms of agroforestry in different parts of Africa. Policies that institutionally segregate forest from agriculture miss opportunities for synergy at landscape scale. More explicit inclusion of agroforestry and the integration of agriculture and forestry agendas in global initiatives on climate change adaptation and mitigation can increase their effectiveness. We identify research gaps and overarching research questions for the contributions in this special issue that may help shape current opinion in environmental sustainability.

Academic research paper on topic "Agroforestry solutions to address food security and climate change challenges in Africa"

Available online at


Current Opinion in

Agroforestry solutions to address food security and climate change challenges in Africa§

Cheikh Mbow1, Meine Van Noordwijk2, Eike Luedeling1, Henry Neufeldt1 Peter A Minang1 and Godwin Kowero3

Trees inside and outside forests contribute to food security in Africa in the face of climate variability and change. They also provide environmental and social benefits as part of farming livelihoods. Varied ecological and socio-economic conditions have given rise to specific forms of agroforestry in different parts of Africa. Policies that institutionally segregate forest from agriculture miss opportunities for synergy at landscape scale. More explicit inclusion of agroforestry and the integration of agriculture and forestry agendas in global initiatives on climate change adaptation and mitigation can increase their effectiveness. We identify research gaps and overarching research questions for the contributions in this special issue that may help shape current opinion in environmental sustainability.


1 World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), United Nations Avenue, Gigiri 00100, P.O. Box 30677, Nairobi, Kenya

2 World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Jalan Cifor, Situgede, Bogor, Indonesia

3 African Forest Forum (AFF), United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, P.O. Box 30677-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

Corresponding author: Mbow, Cheikh (,


Thirty-five years ago widespread concerns over land degradation and the lack of effective solutions in Africa led to the hope that international agroforestry research could contribute new solutions [1]. Despite local success stories [2**], many parts of Africa have continued to

§ This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use,

distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

experience food insecurity, declines in per capita farm income, and land and soil degradation, aggravated by biodiversity loss [3,4]. Where climate is highly variable, especially in the drier parts of Africa, many observers have begun attributing recent land degradation to climate change [5]. Indeed, projected future climate change is almost certain to affect negatively the agricultural resource base in many parts of the continent [6**,7*,8,9,10].

Many smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa practice agroforestry. These systems have prevailed despite persistent attempts to introduce monoculture production of annual crops, which have been much less successful in Africa than elsewhere [11]. Agroforestry has been shown to provide a number of benefits to farmers. For instance, it can enhance soil fertility in many situations and improve farm household resilience through provision of additional products for sale or home consumption [12]. The insight that trees on farms provide livelihood benefits is not new, and diversity-based approaches to agricultural adaptation to climate variability have been adopted by many farmers [13]. In light of recurring food shortages, projected climate change, and rising prices of fossil fuel-based agricultural inputs, agroforestry has recently experienced a surge in interest from the research and development communities, as a cost-effective means to enhance food security, while at the same time contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation. It has also experienced a recent increase in adoption by farmers in many parts of Africa as demonstrated by Garrity et al. [2**].

In spite of these success stories, adoption has not been widespread in many parts of Africa, due to a number of reasons related to the performance of agroforestry practices, the political and socioeconomic environment or simply farmers' disposition towards trees on their farms. An active area of research therefore concerns the preconditions that must be met for successful establishment of agroforestry. For these reasons, major research frontiers in agroforestry science are the identification of appropriate extrapolation domains for locally successful practices, better understanding of barriers to adoption and development of strategies to overcome these barriers.

Major obstacles to the spread of agroforestry strategies are the lack of support for such systems through public policies [14], which often take little notice of tree-based

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2014, 6:61-67

This review comes from a themed issue on Sustainability challenges

Edited by Cheikh Mbow, Henry Neufeldt, Peter Akong Minang, Eike Luedeling and Godwin Kowero

For a complete overview see the Issue and the Editorial

Received 31 May 2013; Accepted 25 October 2013

Available online 17th November 2013

1877-3435/$ - see front matter, © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

farming systems. Consequently, agroforestry is often absent from recommendations for ensuring food security under climate change [10], even though many practices have been shown to deliver benefits for rural development, buffer against climate variability, help rural populations adapt to climate change and contribute to climate change mitigation [15*,16]. Many studies have shown that agroforestry practices can slow or reverse land degradation, sequester carbon from the atmosphere and secure rural livelihoods through provision of ecological and economic benefits. In addition to increasing soil fertility, trees managed by farmers can also provide ecosystem services and functions in addition to the products and services that motivated farmers to plant or preserve them [17,18]. These services are of particular importance in many low-income countries in Africa, where large proportions of the populations work in an agricultural sector that does not attract much investment from either government or private investors [19].

This paper introduces a special issue of Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (COSUST) that seeks to explore the potential of agroforestry for providing benefits for livelihoods, as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation. The objective of this Special Issue is to take stock of the current state of knowledge and to flag important research avenues on agroforestry's potential to contribute to food security and to meet the challenge of climate change.

Agroforestry systems in Africa

Throughout Africa, agroforestry systems come in a wide variety of shapes and forms. Many of these systems have little more in common than the coincidence of woody perennials with agricultural crops and/or livestock. Basic data collection by the FAO does not clearly stress the segregation between forests and agricultural landscapes

with trees. This can be seen as an historical anomaly rather than a reflection of incompatibility between annual and perennial plants within a farming system [20].

Trees or shrubs on farms and in landscapes can occur as solitary individuals, in lines, as woodlots or in the seemingly random constellations that characterized the forest that was present before the establishment of agriculture. Depending on the environmental, climatic, economic and socio-cultural niches they occupy, different types of agroforestry systems have arisen in different places. Some prominent examples that illustrate the diversity of agroforestry are the parkland systems of the Sahel, multistory homegardens on Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, cocoa systems in Cote d'Ivoire and rotational woodlots in Kenya. A number of approaches have been proposed for defining a typology of agroforestry practices and systems [18,21,22], but inclusion of multiple characteristics is necessary for grasping all major distinctive attributes of agroforestry systems (Table 1).

Several agroforestry practices can be relevant for different agro-ecological zones, and many systems with a range of different compositions can fulfill essentially the same functions for livelihoods and landscapes. There is thus no single classification scheme that can be universally applied [18]. What differentiates agroforestry from other land uses is the deliberate inclusion of woody perennials on farms, which usually leads to significant economic and/ or ecological interactions between woody and non-woody system components [22]. In most documented cases of successful agroforestry establishment, tree-based systems are more productive, more sustainable and more attuned to people's cultural or material needs than treeless alternatives. Yet agroforestry is not being adopted everywhere, and better insights are needed into the productive and environmental performance of agroforestry systems,

Table 1

Diversity of agroforestry (AF) classification.

Typology of AF Key elements Examples AF practices References

Ecological Geographical location (AF system Lowland humid or sub-humid tropics AF [18,22]

adaptability to particular ecologies)

Physiognomy Parkland Faidherbia, Shea butter parks in West Africa [2"]

Mosaic Long term fallows

Multistoried homegarden

Compositional/structural Simultaneous or sequential combination Trees in pasture and rangelands [13]

of trees, crop, animal (silvopastoral) and agriculture (agrosilvopastoral)

Practices (systems) Management systems, livelihood strategies Hedgerows, long term fallows, alley cropping, [18,22]

improved fallow, multilayer tree cropping, woodlots

Functional Erosion control, soil fertility Wind breaks, shelterbelts, erosion control/soil [8,23]

conservation, scattered nitrogen fixing trees,

boundary planting

Socioeconomic Scale of production and level of Low input, high input agroforestry [15,24,25]

technology, input and management

(Commercial, subsistence AF)

socio-cultural and political prerequisites for their establishment, and the trade-offs farmers face in choosing between land use practices. These site factors are likely to vary at fine spatial and possibly temporal scales, making the development of robust targeting tools for agroforestry intervention a key priority in agroforestry research.

Agroforestry's contribution to food security and climate change goals

The framework under which agroforestry could contribute to food security, social wealth and climate change alleviation requires a clear understanding of the components and processes that are relevant for sustainable management of benefit flows from ecosystem services in changing agricultural landscapes. Figure 1 suggests factors that significantly impact on the success of agroforestry.

Adoption of agroforestry depends on many management goals, drivers and contextual factors. In most cases, assets related to ecosystem services and to food security are the main motivating factors in agroforestry adoption [8,17]. Agroforestry has also supportive functions, for example, for soil fertility improvement or water recycling [13,26,27], particularly when management techniques such as mulching or conservation agriculture are applied [28]. Agroforestry is therefore often considered as a way to sustainably intensify farming practices for enhanced food security using socially and cost-effective management techniques. Many agroforestry options achieve this through low external input requirements, high recycling rates and crop-livestock integration [29**,30]. They may thus be a viable option for smallholder farmers with limited resources, but where land holdings are small, farmers are often unwilling or unable to spare land for agroforestry establishment (even if this promises higher returns in the long run). Where land holdings are also

Figure 1

Improved livelihoods and climate

Demand of AF products Economic-social value Productive systems Health and safety

Market Local policies/regulations Biophysical factors Technical challenges Land tenure AF options Ecosystem services including C Cash from products Crop production Wood- non wood Biodiversity-habitats Impacts /Outcomes

Governance Equity-Gender Jvelihood Poverty

Supportive, enabling conditions

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

Framing factors for agroforestry options.

insecure, farmers are often reluctant to invest in the long-term endeavor of establishing trees that may benefit the next owner of their land rather than themselves. Much research is still needed to determine how and under what circumstances agroforestry or related concepts, such as climate smart agriculture, can contribute to enhancing food security and livelihood resilience in the face of climate change, especially for the poorest segments of rural populations in Africa [12,31,32*].

With growing pressures from climate change and demographic development, farmers will need to produce significantly more food on less land. Increasing scarcity of agricultural inputs may further reduce access of African farmers to fertilizers, irrigation and energy-intensive mechanized production approaches, and environmental concerns may restrict their ability to expand cropping areas [19]. Climate change is likely to make it even harder for farmers to cope with these problems.

Agroforestry is often considered a cost-effective strategy for climate change mitigation. Tree-based farming systems store carbon in soils and woody biomass, and they may also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from soils [33,34]. The substantial carbon sequestration potential of agroforestry stems not so much from a high carbon density, but from the large areas that are potentially suitable for agroforestry, including many degraded areas [35]. To date, it is unclear how this potential can be realized. Compared to plantations of forestry species, carbon sequestration in agroforestry is relatively slow [34], so that payments through international carbon finance schemes may often not provide much incentive in low-potential regions, such as the West African Sahel [36,37]. Where biological potentials are higher, potential carbon benefits are often outcompeted by high opportunity costs of sequestering carbon, for example, when land owners are unlikely to forego highly profitable cash crop production for the sake of sequestering carbon [12,38]. Where and under what circumstances carbon finance can make farmers implement agroforestry is an area of active research [39,40].

Depending on the way markets are constructed, part or all of emission reduction achieved will be offset by tradable emission rights in countries with commitments to achieve national emission reduction. Although in most agriculture-based climate change mitigation strategies that do not address underlying drivers, local sequestration successes may be linked to increased emissions elsewhere ('leakage'), this may be less likely for agroforestry interventions, if these interventions simultaneously raise the productivity of food production. Consequently, efforts have been made to ensure that agroforestry receives attention in the context of the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) modalities, in which avoidance of such 'leakage' is a key

concern. In order to move from the REDD+ approach toward more comprehensive mitigation strategies, more evidence of net mitigation successes at the landscape scale and additional instruments that cover other land uses such as agroforestry are needed. Also, concerns may arise with the practicality of REDD+ in the context of small-holders farmers in Africa, or if REDD+ will have a 'brief life', given many challenges related to its implementation [41].

Regarding adaptation of agricultural production to climate change, agroforestry has potential to moderate climate extremes, in particular high temperatures, as well as intra-annual climatic fluctuations. Tree canopies can create a more adequate microclimate for crops and more resilient ecosystems for better food production [8]. On the other hand, a dense tree canopy also reduces incident solar radiation, possibly depressing crop yield potentials. Additional research is needed for guidance on optimum tree cover for climate change adaptation in varied environmental settings, especially in the area of modelling where tools remain inadequate [42].

Although microclimatic effects may convey adaptation benefits to farmers, added resilience through enhanced productivity and farming portfolio effects may be a greater contribution to coping with climate change at the farm level. Establishing agroforestry on land that currently has low tree cover has been identified as one of the most promising strategies to raise food production without additional deforestation [2,23]. The often favourable soil fertility effects of agroforestry are supplemented

by additional direct benefits and services that trees on farm provide, such as fuel wood, timber, fruits or fodder. Such services are typically more important to farmers than indirect effects of enhanced soil fertility or avoided deforestation [28]. Since agroforestry may raise and stabilize farm incomes, adaptation benefits are then not so much derived from interventions that target particular climate hazards, but from a general reduction in farmers' vulnerability to shocks through greater human and environmental wealth. A recent paper showed that agro-forestry reduced food insecurity during drought and flooding in western Kenya by 25% due to increased income and improved livelihoods [16].

Synergies between food security and climate change mitigation

Climate change mitigation has not traditionally been a driver of farmers' decisions, and it is unlikely to become a major driver in the future. Clearly, sequestering carbon on farms for the sake of climate change mitigation may not be attractive for an African smallholder farmer, especially if mitigation efforts do not lead to short-term increases in income or welfare. African farmers may be very reluctant to sacrifice any part of their often meagre farm incomes to sequester carbon. If such farmers are to contribute to mitigation anyway, carbon-sequestering land use strategies must either be subsidized, to an extent that makes them equivalent to foregone profits from alternative land uses, or they must be profitable in their own right — without any compensation. With biocarbon projects continuing to be challenged to overcome financial, institutional and governance hurdles, the greatest opportunity to

Figure 2

Current and future climate variability

Policy domains: Global climate mitigation

Land use planning/access Agricultural extension Agricultural technology development

Climate change adaptation Community-based development

Landscape-based adaptation Forest-agriculture integration

Rural infrastructure Cross-sectoral economic integration

Poverty Reduction Strategies Millennium Development Goals

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

Policy domains interacting with the logical pathway between climate variability (current and future) and food (in) security via land use practices with or without trees.

sequester carbon on a large scale on Africa's farms is through innovations that enhance food security and provide mitigation services as a co-benefit (e.g. increased parkland tree cover, multi-layered farming, intercropping, land sharing practices, among others) [43",44] (Figure 2).

Agroforestry is one the few land use strategies that promises such synergies between food security and climate change mitigation. It is also less likely than other strategies to negatively affect the provision of non-carbon ecosystem services, such as water cycle regulation [7,33,45] or biodiversity conservation [46], all of which are integral aspects of 'climate-smart agriculture' [47].


Like few other land use options, agroforestry has real potential to contribute to food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, while preserving and strengthening the environmental resource base of Africa's rural landscapes. It has a key role to play in landscape-scale mitigation schemes under the REDD+ or AFOLU (Agriculture, Forestry and other land uses) concepts. For millions of African farmers whose livelihoods are threatened by climate change and land degradation agrofor-estry offers a pathway toward more resilient livelihoods.

However, not all agroforestry options are viable everywhere, and the current state of knowledge offers very little guidance on what systems work where, for whom and under what circumstances. The following is a selection from the host of open questions that remain unanswered for most places:

• What tree species work best under given site conditions?

• Which tree-crop-site combinations are characterized by synergistic interactions, which ones by trade-offs?

• What extension methods are most effective for promotion of climate-smart agroforestry systems?

• Which agroforestry systems support healthy, ecologically functional landscapes?

• How can ecosystem service delivery through agrofor-estry systems be optimized?

• How will agroforestry species respond to climate change?

• Are adaptation benefits from agroforestry greater than those of alternative land uses?

• How, if at all, can smallholder farmers benefit from carbon payments?

This list is by no means exhaustive. In fact, knowledge gaps in agroforestry are greater than the actual body of knowledge on most aspects. It is therefore essential that research efforts on these important cropping systems are intensified, so that future scaling-up of agroforestry can be rooted in robust scientific findings rather than the intuitions of governments and development actors. This

special issue addresses some of the current research questions, introduces some innovative ways to conceptualize agroforestry systems and provides an overview of the status quo of agroforestry science, on which future research can build. We hope that this collection of papers will stimulate more research in tree-based farming systems, so that the host of its potential benefits can reach many more farmers throughout Africa in the future.


We acknowledge support from the CGIAR research programs on 'Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security' (CCAFS) and on 'Forests, Trees and Agroforestry' (FTA). The authors would like to thank the reviewer for the constructive comments.

References and recommended reading

Papers of particular interest, published within the period of review, have been highlighted as:

• of special interest •• of outstanding interest

1. King KFS, Chandler TM: The Wasted Lands: The Program of Work of the International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). Nairobi, Kenya: International Council for Research in Agroforestry-ICRAF; 1978, .

2. Garrity DP, Akinnifesi FK, Ajayi OC, Weldesemayat SG, Mowo JG, •• Kalinganire A, Larwanou M, Bayala J: Evergreen agriculture: a

robust approach to sustainable food security in Africa. Food Security 2010, 2:197-214. This paper gives evidence of agroforestry success across Africa and shows its potential for improved livelihood and climate. It claims that multiple benefits of agroforestry for ecological health and services to community need to be asserted and understood to reproduce successful agroforestry models in other African zones.

3. Vlek PLG, Le QB, Tamene L: Assessment of land degradation, its possible causes and threat to food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Food Security and Soil Quality Advances in Soil Science. Edited by Raton B. USA: Taylor & Francis; 2010:57-86.

4. Bojo J: The costs of land degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

EcolEcon 1996, 16:161-173.

5. Wessels JK, Prince DS, Malherbe J, Small J, Frost EP et al.: Can human-induced land degradation be distinguished from the effects of rainfall variability? A case study in South Africa. J

Arid Environ 2007, 68:271-297.

6. IPCC: Summary for Policy Makers: Special Report on

•• Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. In A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Edited by C.B.Barros V, Stocker TF, Qin D, Dokken DJ, Ebi KL, Mastrandrea MD, Mach KJ, Plattner G-K, Allen SK.etal.: Cambridge: IPCC; 2012:20. This IPCC release gives scientific information on the impact of frequent extreme events on agriculture. It reveals the importance of buffering climate change effect and trees in vulnerable zones are important to play that role..

7. Vermeulen SJ, Campbell BM, Ingram JSI: Climate change and • food systems. Annu Rev Environ Resour 2012, 37:195-222. These article syntheses the new policy stakes on sustainable food production. It questions the dimensions of sustainable food production and gives avenues for research that addresses the demand and supply sides of food systems.

8. DeSouza HN, DeGoede RGM, Brussaard L, Cardoso IM, Duarte EMG, Fernandes RBA, Gomes LC, Pulleman MM: Protective shade, tree diversity and soil properties in coffee agroforestry systems in the Atlantic Rainforest biome. Agric Ecosyst Environ 2012, 146:179-196.

9. Gonzalez P, Tucker CJ, Sy H: Tree density and species decline in the African Sahel attributable to climate. J Arid Environ 2012, 78:55-64.

10. Beddington JR, Asaduzzaman M, Clark ME, Bremauntz AF, Guillou MD, Howlett DJB, Jahn MM, Lin E, Mamo T, Negra C et al. : What next for agriculture after Durban? Science 2012,335:289290.

11. Djurfeldt G, Hiolmen H, Jirstrom M, Larsson R: The African Food Crisis. CABI Publishing; 2005.

12. Thangataa PH, Hildebrand PE: Carbon stock and sequestration potential of agroforestry systems in smallholder agroecosystems of sub-Saharan Africa: mechanisms for 'reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation'(REDD+). Agric Ecosyst Environ 2012,158:172-183.

13. Nguyen Q, Hoang MH, Oborn I, Noordwijk MV: Multipurpose agroforestry as a climate change resiliency option for farmers: an example of local adaptation in Vietnam. Climatic Change 2013, 117:241-257.

14. Bishaw, Badege, Neufeldt H, Mowo J, Abdelkadir A, Muriuki J, Dalle G, Assefa T, Guillozet K, Kassa H et al.: Farmers' Strategies for Adapting to and Mitigating Climate Variability and Change through Agroforestry in Ethiopia and Kenya: Forestry Communications Group. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University; 2013, .

15. Noordwijk MV, Hoang MH, Neufeldt H, Oborn I, Yatich T: How

• Trees And People Can Co-adapt to Climate Change. Reducing

Vulnerability in Multifunctional Landscapes. ICRAF; 2011.

Provides an introduction to the basic concepts in climate change, agroforestry and rewards for maintaining landscape level ecosystem services.

The book provides information on ways to optimize livelihoods from

ecosystem services using landscape approaches.

16. Thorlakson T, Neufeldt H: Reducing subsistence farmers' vulnerability to climate change: evaluating the potential contributions of agroforestry in western Kenya. Agric Food Security 2012, 1(15):1-13.

17. Skole Dl, Samek JH, Chomentowski W, Smalligan M: Forests, carbon, and the global environment: new directions in research. In Land Use and the Carbon Cycle Advances in Integrated Science, Management, and Policy. Edited by Brown DG, Robinson DT, French NHF, Reed BC. USA: Cambridge University Press; 2013:505-522.

18. Torquebiau EF: A renewed perspective on agroforestry concepts and classification. Comptes Remdus Academie des Sciences Paris, Sciences de la vie/Life Sciences 2000, 323:10091017.

19. Beddington JR, Asaduzzaman M, Clark ME, Bremauntz AF, Guillou MD, Jahn MM, Lin E, Mamo T, Negra C, Nobre CA et al. : The role for scientists in tackling food insecurity and climate change. Agric Food Security 2012, 1:10.

20. de Foresta H, Somarriba E, Temu A, Boulanger D, Feuilly H, Gauthier et al.: Towards the assessment of trees outside forests: a thematic report prepared in the framework of the global forest resources assessment. Resources Assessment Working Paper 183. Rome: FAO; 2013, .

21. Sinclair FL: A general classification of agroforestry practice.

Agroforest Systems 1999, 46(2):161-180.

22. Nair PKR: An Introduction to Agroforestry. University of Florida-Gainesville: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 1993.

23. Bayala J, Kalinganire A, Tchoundjeu Z, Sinclair F, Garrity D: Conservation agriculture with trees in the West African Sahel — a review. World Agroforestry Centre Occasional Paper No. 14. Nairobi; 2011: 72 p.

24. Assogbadjo AE, Kakaï RG, Vodouhe FG, Djagoun CAMS, Codjia JTC, Sinsin B: Biodiversity and socioeconomic factors supporting farmers' choice of wild edible trees in the agroforestry systems of Benin (West Africa). Forest Policy Econ 2012, 14:41-49.

25. Sood KK, Mitchell CP: Household level domestic fuel consumption and forest resource in relation to agroforestry adoption: evidence against need-based approach. Biomass

Bioenergy 2011, 35:337-345.

26. Simelton E, Fraser EDG, Termansen M, Benton TG, Gosling SN, South A, Arnell NW, Challinor AJ, Dougill AJ,

Forster PM: The socioeconomics of food crop production and climate change vulnerability: a global scale quantitative analysis of how grain crops are sensitive to drought. Food Security 2013. in press.

27. Gockowski J, Asten PV: Agricultural intensification as a climate change and food security strategy for sub-Saharan Africa. In

Climate Change Mitigation and Agriculture. Edited by Wollenberg E, Nihart A, Tapio-Bostrom M-L, Grieg-Gran M. London-New York: ICRAF-CIAT; 2012:382-390.

28. Bucagu C, Vanlauwe B, Wijk MTV, Giller KE: Assessing farmers' interest in agroforestry in two contrasting agro-ecological zones of Rwanda. Agroforest Systems 2013, 87:141-158.

29. Koohafkan P, Altieri AM, Gimenez HE: Green agriculture: •• foundations for biodiverse, resilient and productive

agricultural systems. Int J Agric Sustain 2012, 10(1):61-75.

This paper supports the importance of agroecological intensification as way to achieve sustainable farming goals with special reference on the importance of biodiversity and managing landscape complexity for increase agricultural productivity. This paper is supplemented by ideas in paper 30.

30. Altieri AM, Funes-Monzote RF, Petersen P: Agroecologically efficient agricultural systems for smallholder farmers: contributions to food sovereignty. Agron Sustain Dev 2012, 32(1):1-13.

31 Neufeldt H, Jahn M, Campbell BM, Beddington JR, DeClerck F, Pinto AD, Gulledge J et al.: Beyond climate-smart agriculture: toward safe operating spaces for global food systems. Agric Food Security 2013, 2(12):6.

32. Baudron F, Andersson AJ, Corbeels M, Giller EK: Failing to Yield? • Ploughs, Conservation Agriculture and the Problem of Agricultural Intensification: an example from the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe. J Develop Studies 2012, 48(3):393-412. A comparison of two general models for improving yield is described: plough-base or minimum tillage. He demonstrated that many farmers do not have the required knowledge to select between the two models and usually adopt extensive production systems.

33 Smith P, Olesen JE: Synergies between the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change in agriculture. J Agric Sci 2010, 148:543-552.

34 Verchot LV, Noordwijk MV, Kandji S, Tomich T, Ong C, Albrecht A, Mackensen J, Bantilan C, Anupama KV, Palm C: Climate change: linking adaptation and mitigation through agroforestry.

Mitigation Adaptation Strategies Global Change 2007,12:901-918.

35 Kandji ST, Verchot LV, Mackensen J, Boye A, Noordwijk Mv, Tomich TP, Ong C, Albrecht A, Palm C: Opportunities for Linking Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Through Agroforestry Systems. ICRAF; 2006:: 9.

36. Luedeling E, Sileshi G, Beedy T, Dietz J: Carbon Sequestration potential of agroforestry systems in Africa. In Carbon Sequestration Potential of Agroforestry Systems: Opportunities and Challenges. Edited by Kumar BM, Nair PKR.. Advances in Agroforestry. Springer; 2012:23.

37. Luedeling E, Neufeldt H: Carbon sequestration potential of parkland agroforestry in the Sahel. Climatic Change 2012, 15:443-461.

38. Olsson EGA, Ouattara S: Opportunities and Challenges to Capturing the Multiple Potential Benefits of REDD+ in a Traditional Transnational Savanna-Woodland Region in West Africa. Ambio 2013, 42:309-319.

39. Mertz O, Muller D, Sikor T, Hett C, Heinimann A et al.: The forgotten D: challenges of addressing forest degradation in complex mosaic landscapes under REDD+. Danish J Geogr 2012, 1:63-76.

40. Gosset L, Neufeldt H: Pro-poor Biocarbon Projects in Eastern Africa: Economic and Institutional Lessons. In In Proceedings of Workshop on Institutions for Inclusive Climate-Smart Agriculture: 2012. Nairobi-Kenya: CAPRi/CCAFS; 2012, 19.

41. Mbow C, Skole D, Dieng M, Justice C, Kwesha D et al: Challenges and Prospects for REDD+ in Africa: Desk Review Of REDD+ Implementation in Africa, Global Land Project Reports vol. 5: GLP-IPO, Copenhagen.; 2012.

42. Luedeling E, Huth NI, Kindt R, Konig K: Agroforestry systems in a changing climate - challenges in projecting future performance. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 2014, 6:1-7.

43. Beddington J, Asaduzzaman M, Clark M, Fernández A, Guillou M •• et al. : Achieving Food Security in the Face of Climate Change: Final

report from the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). CCAFS; 2012:. 64 p.. This CCAFS leaded synthesis based of existing knowledge and baseline information collected in CCAFS sentinel site. It covers many issues such as safety nets and new frontiers in the issue of sustainable agriculture for food security in Africa.

44. Tilman D, Balzer C, Hill J, Befort BL: Global food demand and the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Proc Natl Acad Sci U SA(PNAS) 2011, 108(50):20260-20264.

45. Méndez VE, Castro-Tanzi S, Goodall C, Morris KS, Bacon CM, Läderach P, Morris WB, Georgeolou-Laxalde MU: Livelihood and environmental trade-offs of climate mitigation in smallholder coffee agroforestry systems. In Climate Change Mitigation and Agriculture. Edited by Wollenberg E, Nihart A, Tapio-Bostrom M-L, Grieg-Gran M. London-New York: ICRAF-CIAT; 2012:370-381.

46. Ravindranath NH: Mitigation and adaptation synergy in forest sector. Mitigation Adapt Strategies Global Change 2007, 12:843-853.

47. FAO: Greening the Economy with Climate-Smart Agriculture. Background Paper for the Second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change. FAO Paper Prepared by Alexandre Meybeck and Vincent Gitz. Rome (Italy): Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 2012, :. 52.