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» » » » » Agroforestry solution to climate change


Innocent Batisa

MASVINGO
- The Forestry commission of Zimbabwe (FCZ) says the country should accelerate agroforestry so as to fight the effects of climate change.
Agroforestry is a land use management system whereby trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland.
FCZ spokesperson, Stephen Zingwena said the system should be adopted everywhere due to its many benefits.
"Through agroforestry, a farmer benefits from moisture conservation from tree canopies, exchange of nutrients from roots of nitrogen fixing plants and biomass," said Zingwena.
He said the system reduces the amount of direct sunlight that hits crops and cuts evapotranspiration thereby increasing survival chances in intense heat.
"Not all trees are suitable for agroforestry but only nitrogen fixing ones like a wide variety of acacia and the pigeon pea," said Zingwena.
He said FCZ was in the process of breeding drought resistant tree species that face extinction.
"Our researchers are working on propagating six indigenous tree species with a view of domesticating them while 16 more are on provenance trials. Three more are being bred for multiplication as they face extinction.
"Indigenous fruit trees that are targeted for domestication are mupfura, mutohwe, munyii, muzhanje, mutunduru and muhacha.
 "There is also a programme of crossing eucalyptus trees to produce drought-tolerant and faster growing hybrids for flue-cured tobacco growers," said Zingwena.news

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