The SAFSE Project

Search for trade-offs between production and other ecosystem services provided by tropical agroforestry systems

Agroforestry systems (AFS), which are expected to be environment-friendly and to guarantee food security through crop and income diversification, appear to be a promising model for sustainable agriculture in developing countries. However, optimum management of AFS will be only possible with a better understanding and control of production factors.

The project proposes to analyse trade-offs and synergies between provisioning services (production) and the other types of ecosystem services (support, regulation) provided by AFS. By enhancing knowledge of the biophysical and socio-economic mechanisms underlying the functioning and dynamics of AFS, the project intends to provide a generic basis for optimizing trade-offs between production and other ecosystem services in order to help increase the resilience of these agro-ecosystems and the societies that depend on them.

Studies will be undertaken in contrasting situations, (i) in the humid tropics, on multistrata AFS with perennial crops (principally cocoa and coffee), (ii) in a dry region of sub-Saharan Africa, on the tree and shrub parklands supporting cereal-based rotations.

The project will establish a shared conceptual framework that will be structuring for the communities of researchers from CIRAD, IRD, their national partners in France, and other partners in the South, relying on collaborative research facilities already existing in partnership.

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