The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that grasslands are by far the largest agricultural use of land (26% of all land globally and more than 70% of agricultural land) and contribute to the livelihoods of 800 million people. Trees in pastures are ubiquitous in the Sahel, East Africa and much of Latin America and provide fodder and shade for animals, sustain soil fertility, and contribute to biodiversity conservation. While retaining trees on pastures can halt and reverse degradation following deforestation, appropriate species and densities are required to do this profitably and productively.
This operational priority aims to 1) quantify greenhouse gas emissions reduction through the development of climate smart silvopastoral systems (SPS); 2) understand best options for forage management and fodder value of bamboo; and 3) policy analysis and engagement to overcome constraints to SPS development in Africa.
A systematic review of SPS research priorities is required to underpin the development of SPS globally to 2022, and leverage existing programs involving CATIE, Bangor, the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF). This will be complemented by the development of a coinvestment strategy with the Livestock CGIAR Research Program.