Agroforestry is a traditional land use system that incorporates the planting, cultivation and conservation of woody vegetation (that's trees!) alongside food crop and/or livestock farming. At the systems level, it’s a model of land management that integrates more sustainable methods of agricultural production together with the planting of native tree species to create lasting economic benefits for farmers, as well as ecological benefits for the surrounding communities.
According to the USDA, for a management practice to be called agroforestry, it must satisfy the four "I"s:
From a community perspective, it's a powerful tool for empowering smallholder farmers with more reliable income, conserving primary forests in areas that are under threat of degradation for basic survival needs, reducing hunger in rural areas and so much more. Over the years, we've found that when sustainable agroforestry training and resources are provided alongside reforestation efforts, these projects have a much better chance of long-term success.