PR - Treasuring Trees For Agricultural Transformation
Trees are vital to earth’s ecosystem. In many places, loss of trees is faster than their replacement. With particular reference to sub-Saharan Africa, this paper seeks to review in outline the value of trees in order to encourage better understanding, appreciation and practical management response. A treasury is a store of wealth, a treasurer its custodian, and the act of treasuring is a positive response to the value of that wealth. Trees are a multi-faceted source of wealth. Not just foresters and forest communities but especially farmers, and also civil societies, families and individuals at large need to care about and for trees. The paper briefly indicates the global status of forests, their ecological and economic significance, and proposes tree-treasuring strategies and practices together with their integration in agro-ecological systems for global food security. While recognising the excellent work that is being done in some places, it is a wider call for deeper appreciation and fresh endeavours concerning trees and their integral management within farming systems. The paper also reports responses to practical field workshops on trees held in Malawi in 2012.
Keywords: trees, treasuring, agro-ecological, integral, management, extension