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CES: Agroforestry in the Caribbean Presentation

August 19, 2015

07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

UVICES New House Building - St. Thomas campus

Toni Thomas, 340-693-1084, tthomas2@uvi.edu


Presentation: Agroforestry in the Caribbean, Traditional Systems, Both Sustainable and Biodiverse

Where: UVI Cooperative Extension Service New House Building, St. Thomas Campus

When: August 19, 2015 at 5:30 pm -7:00 pm

Presenter: Michael Morgan, Agroforestry Research Specialist – UVI Agriculture Experiment Station, St. Croix

Registration: Free. Please contact 693-1086 (dmorton@uvi.edu) or 693-1084 (tthomas2@uvi.edu) to register.

This presentation discusses various agroforestry practices as they are practiced in the islands in the Caribbean Sea. Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, and sustainable land-use systems. Agroforestry is the oldest form of agriculture dating back some 11,000 years. It is low input and tends to be practiced by small farmers on marginal soils. Mr. Morgan will focus on the history of Caribbean agroforestry and also discuss various agroforestry practices including:

  • Forest gardening - food production and land management system based on replicating woodland ecosystems, using fruit trees and shrubs, herbs and vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans.
  • Shade grown crops - crops purposely raised under tree canopies, preserving biodiversity. By having more than one level of vegetation, it may be possible to get more photosynthesis, and overall yields, than with a single canopy layer in full sun.
  • Shifting agriculture and fallows – land cleared for agricultural use is allowed to naturally return to forest cover to rebuilt soil nutrients and maintain fertility. Improved fallows aim to make this process more effective through the use of fast growing tree species that can be cut and worked into soil to improve crop fertility. • Alley cropping and living hedges - crop strips alternated with rows of closely spaced tree or hedge species that can naturally fertilize crops and/or be used for timber.
  • Silvopastoral systems – livestock pastures that contain not only grass but also naturally growing or cultivated trees for forage, shade or timber.

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