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Iranian experts recommend agroforestry for nation's destroyed agricultural lands, jungles

TEHRAN, Nov. 12 (Mehr News Agency) - Some Iranian university lecturers and experts in the field recommend agroforestry as a suitable solution to be used in most of the nation's destroyed agricultural lands and jungles, in particular, those located in the green slopes of the northern parts of the country.

They emphasize that favorable climates of Iran's northern parts would further contribute to more development of the jungles and woods in the vast green lands located near the world's largest lake, the Caspian Sea. Nevertheless, implementation of the project calls for precise planning, examination and survey of the general geological characteristics of the region, close and all-out technical and technological cooperation and coordination with the related bodies and organizations.

On the other hand, a number of other experts maintain that agroforestry does not favor the region rather, the technique is recommended for the areas where farming is the main activity of the local people and forestry is only their second source of livelihood.

According to the definitions, agroforestry combines agriculture and forestry technologies to create more integrated, diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems. "Agroforestry is a collective name for land use systems and practices in which woody perennials are deliberately integrated with crops and/or animals on the same land management unit", the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) made this definition in 1993.

Agroforestry practices help landowners to diversify products, markets, and farm income; improve soil and water quality; and reduce erosion, non-point source pollution and damage due to flooding. The integrated practices of agroforestry enhance land and aquatic habitats for fish and wildlife and improve biodiversity while sustaining land resources for generations to come.

There are normally both ecological and economic interactions between woody and non-woody components in agroforestry. It means that trees are intentionally used within agricultural systems. Knowledge, careful selection of species and good management of trees and crops are needed to maximize the production and positive effects of trees and to minimize negative competitive effects on crops.

In other words, agroforestry is meant to do away with the traditional forestry exercised here for centuries nonetheless, the existing supervisory and executive bureaus, bodies and organizations lack the required potentials or initiatives to move towards reaching the goal, the Persian service of IRNA news agency said in its special report on the issue on Sunday.

... Payvand News - 11/13/06 ... --

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