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15 December 2022

Scaling Up Agroforestry

Agroforestry provides means to combat increasingly urgent challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss, food insecurity, and other global issues. It has the potential to improve ecosystem services, local economies and rural livelihoods (FAO 2013; FAO 2021). At present, agroforestry is gaining more prominence in international policy meetings and several countries have adopted national policy support, strategies or action plans to promote agroforestry adoption (FAO 2020; Lin et al. 2021). However, despite its benefits and recent policy progress, the agroforestry sector remains largely disadvantaged by several barriers which prevent agroforestry from being scaled up efficiently (Agroforestry Network 2018).

This brief focuses on the most crucial opportunities, barriers and actions for disseminating agroforestry systems more widely. If the recommended actions are addressed, the expansion of agroforestry for sustainable landscapes and food systems can be accelerated.

The recommendations provided in this brief aim to stimulate private and public investments, as well as engagement towards accelerating the scaling-up process of agroforestry.


Recommendations for policy and decision makers:

  1. Develop national agroforestry policies, strategies and action plans that acknowledge the importance of trees in rural development, provide distinct guidance for the scaling-up process, and organise cross-sectoral coordination across ministries responsible for agroforestry.
  2. Ensure a participatory approach and context-specific implementation of diversified, indigenous agroforestry systems.
  3. Identify and reform restricting land tenure to promote agroforestry adoption and development.
  4. Communicate the know-how by increasing investments in private and public extension and advisory services for agroforestry.
  5. Invest in adaptive and inclusive agroforestry research and development (R&D) that ensures co-learning amongst researchers, farmers, private sector actors, government and other stakeholders.
  6. Increase financial incentives and investments that enable and add value to the agroforestry sector.
  7. Improve market access and develop value chains for agroforestry products by linking farmers to local markets and promoting agroforestry-based businesses.


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