African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6151

Review

Enhancing agricultural sustainability and productivity under changing climate conditions through improved agroforestry practices in smallholder farming systems in Sub-Saharan Africa

Nyong P. Awazi
  • Nyong P. Awazi
  • Department of Forestry, Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon.
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Martin N. Tchamba
  • Martin N. Tchamba
  • Department of Forestry, Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 03 January 2018
  •  Accepted: 02 March 2018
  •  Published: 14 February 2019

Abstract

Fighting climate change and its nefarious effects is at the forefront of the United Nations’ SDGs, agenda 2030. This comes at a time when the global climate is changing rapidly owing to increasing concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere resulting principally from fossil fuel combustion and agricultural lands taking the place of tropical forests. Climate change threatens human existence in general and the livelihood of smallholder farmers in particular in the 21st century. Research shows that the developing world has about 500 million small-scale farms, with almost two billion people implicated, a majority of them in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa where small-scale farms produce about 80% of the food consumed. Hence, smallholder farmers will bear the greatest brunt of predicted changes in climatic patterns owing to their limited adaptive capacity. Small-scale farmers being appallingly vulnerable, easily succumb to climate-induced extreme weather events, thus threatening food security. It is therefore within this backdrop that the necessity to document and promote climate-smart, sustainable, productive and low cost agricultural practices becomes incumbent. Agroforestry is one of the few existing practices that contribute simultaneously to agricultural sustainability enhancement as well as improved farm productivity owing to its ability to provide many ecosystem services. There are currently very few existing agricultural practices where sustainable agricultural goals can be attained through simultaneous enhancement of agro-ecosystem diversity and farm productivity as in agroforestry systems. Today, few studies have looked into the contribution of agroforestry to beefing up agricultural sustainability and productivity in the context of climate change. This review paper therefore sought to research on what has been done so far as well as look into the way forward with focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

Key words: Climate change, agroforestry practices, agricultural sustainability, agricultural productivity, sub-Saharan Africa