By Susan Onyango and Daisy Ouya
‘Biodiversity for Sustainable Development’ – This is the theme for this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity. The theme relates closely to one of the 17 proposed global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be promulgated in New York this September: ‘Ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.’
How can on-farm biodiversity support this SDG?
“When sets of fruit tree species with different harvest times are cultivated on farms, they can provide year-round products for consumption and sale,” says Katja Kehlenbeck of ICRAF. “We were especially looking at ‘fruit tree portfolios’ that can deliver fruits rich in vitamin C and provitamin A all year round,” she adds.
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has been working in partnership with Shamba Shape Up, a knowledge-based agricultural reality TV-show, to support thousands of farmers across East Africa build their resilience to a changing climate, while boosting their food security, nutrition, and incomes.
Agroforestry — the purposeful integration of useful trees into farming landscapes—is one of the ‘climate-smart agriculture’ practices that farmers are learning through the partnership. Besides providing harvestable goods like fruits, nuts, timber and fodder, trees on farms build soil health and play a part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more on how tree diversity can address food and nutritional security:
generates science-based knowledge about the diverse roles that trees play in agricultural landscapes, and to uses this knowledge to advance policies and practices that benefit the poor and the environment.