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Innovations in Agroforestry Systems

SKU: course-119 Category:

Experts Biography

Ms. Kamal Melvani

Kamal Melvani has been engaged in the restoration of degraded land in Sri Lanka for more than a decade.  She specializes in ecological restoration of farmers' lands and has several demonstration projects in Sri Lanka. Restoration techniques used include regenerative/organic agriculture, analog and

Full Biography

Course Description

This course aims to show how agroforestry can be used to increase the productivity of degraded land. The specific objectives are to:
• Enrich participants’ knowledge of agroforestry.
• Demonstrate how agroforestry can increase land productivity at a watershed level.
• Build the capacity of practitioners to employ methods of agroforestry in their land management practices.
Target Participants
Government officers, agricultural producers, agribusiness entrepreneurs, agricultural extension workers, academics, and other individuals with particular interest in adopting tree-dominant agriculture, watershed or land rehabilitation, diversifying farming portfolios, or promoting agroforestry.
Land degradation results in the reduced capacity of ecosystems to provide diverse social and environmental goods and services. This includes the loss of habitat for biodiversity, reduced soil and watershed productivity, altered microclimates, and diminished livelihood potential including food, nutritional, and financial insecurity. One way to rehabilitate land and sustain production is through agroforestry. Agroforestry is the collective term for land-use systems and technologies in which woody perennials (trees, shrubs, palms and bamboo, etc.) are used deliberately on the same land-management units as agricultural crops with animals in some form of spatial arrangement or temporal sequence. Agroforestry enhances agricultural productivity, among other economic, social, and environmental benefits.

This Course will describe land degradation and its consequences. Agroforestry will be offered as a solution to reverse land degradation. The ecosystem functions (goods and services) from agroforestry practices will be presented and the challenges in establishing agroforests described. A successful case study of land rehabilitation in a degraded watershed in Sri Lanka using a combination of diverse agroforestry practices and regenerative agriculture will provide an example for the innovative use of agroforestry.
Scope and Methodology
The course structure and content are as follows:
Module 1: Land degradation
1.1 Land degradation
1.2 Increasing human consumption
1.3 Forest destruction
1.4 Climate change
1.5 Food and nutrition insecurity
1.6 Livelihood instability and poverty
1.7 Land Degradation neutral
1.8 Key messages

Module 2: History, definition and criteria used to classify agroforestry practices
2.1 History of agroforestry
2.2 Agriculture, agroforests and forests
2.3 Definition
2.4 Classifying agroforestry practices
2.5 Key messages

Module 3: Agroforestry practices and choosing the right model
3.1 Agroforestry systems
3.2 Classification of agroforestry practices
3.3 Key messages

Quiz 1 (for self-assessment based on questions from Modules 1–3)

Module 4: Agroforestry practices, regulating and supporting ecosystem functions
4.1 Supporting and regulating ecosystem functions
4.2 Soil fertility
4.3 Biodiversity conservation
4.4 Water quality
4.5 Air quality
4.6 Carbon sequestration
4.7 Key messages

Module 5: Agroforestry practices and provisioning ecosystem functions with a focus on forest gardens (Part 1)
5.1 Forest gardens
5.2 Structure, composition and landscape design
5.3 Floristic diversity
5.4 Livestock
5.5 Provisioning functions (food, fuelwood, medicine, timber, fodder)
5.6 Key messages

Module 6: Agroforestry practices, provisioning (Part 2), and cultural ecosystem functions in forest gardens and other agroforestry practices
6.1 Provisioning ecosystem functions (income, expenditure and profitability)
6.2 Cultural ecosystem functions
6.3 Key messages

Quiz 2 (for self-assessment based on questions from Modules 4–6)

Module 7. Agroforestry adoption and increasing its effectiveness
7.1. Land and climatic characteristics
7.2 Interactions between components
7.3 Access to resources (land, seed, labour, financial capital and technical knowledge)
7.4 Crop destruction (tree felling, animal pests, natural calamities)
7.5 Land tenure
7.6 Government policy
7.7 Key messages

Module 8, Applying innovative agroforestry practices for watershed rehabilitation: A Case Study in the rehabilitation of a degraded watershed in Sri Lanka
8.1 WHY: Background
8.2 WHERE: Description of the watershed
8.3 WHAT: The problem
8.4 HOW: Methods that will be used to rehabilitate degraded land
8.5 WHO: The stakeholder, mobiliser and funder
8.6 EXPECTED OUTCOMES: Increasing: watershed productivity (water quantity and quality), soil fertility, agricultural productivity, livelihood sustainability, and forest cover.
8.7 PRELIMINARY WORK: Identify needs of stakeholders, Mapping (land use, topography, and hydrology) and inventory (flora and fauna)

Module 9, WHAT is needed to implement watershed rehabilitation
9.1 Participatory watershed rehabilitation (assessing resources in hand, crop selection, database and other considerations and nursery establishment)
9.2 Landscape design and implementation
9.3 Management plan
9.4 Monitoring and evaluation
9.5 Evaluation
9.6 Challenges and resolutions
9.7 Conclusions

Quiz 3 (for self-assessment based on questions from Modules 7–9)

Final examination

A minimum score of 70% on the final examination is required to qualify for the APO e-certificate.


Self-learning e-modules, additional study materials for participants, intermittent quizzes for self-assessment, assignments, and a final examination to qualify for the APO e-certificate.


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