The three mains components of agroforestry - animals, crops and trees - can be combined in numerous spatial and temporal arrangements and for different functions, creating thus many different kinds of systems. The definitions for the systems described below are taken from P.K. Ramachandran Nair’s An Introduction to agroforestry, a reference in the field. The author, co-founder of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), is a pioneer in the establishment modern agroforestry.

Agrisilvicultural systems (trees combined with crops)
Improved fallows:   woody species planted and left to grow during fallow.
Taungya:    combined stand of woody and agricultural species during early stages of establishment of plantations. 
Alley cropping (hedgerow intercropping):   woody species in hedges; agricultural species in alleys in between hedges; microzonal or strip arrangement. 
Multilayer tree gardens:   multispecies, multilayer dense plant associations with no organized planting arrangements. 
Multipurpose trees on crop lands:   trees scattered haphazardly or according to some systematic patterns on bunds, terraces or plot/field boundaries. 

Plantation crop combinations: 

  such as integrated multistorey mixtures of plantation crops; of plantation crops in alternate; shade trees for plantation crops; shade trees scattered; intercropping.
Home gardens:    multistorey combination of various trees and crops around homesteads.
Trees in soil conservation and reclamation:    trees on bunds, terraces, raisers, etc. with or without grass strips; trees for soil reclamation. 
Shelterbelts and windbreaks, live hedges:   trees around farmland/plots. 
Fuelwood production:    interplanting firewood species on or around agricultural lands.

Silvopastoral systems (trees and pastures or animals)
Trees on rangeland or pastures   trees scattered irregularly or arranged according to some systematic pattern. 
Protein banks   production of protein-rich tree fodder on farm/rangelands for cut-and-carry fodder production. 
Plantation crops with pastures and animals:    for example, cattle under coconuts in south-east Asia and the south Pacific. 
Agrosilvopastoral systems (animals, trees and crops)
Homegardens involving animals   intimate, multistorey combination of various trees and crops, and animals, around homesteads. 
Multipurpose woody hedgerows   woody hedges for browse, mulch, green manure, soil conservation, etc. 
Apiculture with trees   trees for honey production. 
Aquaforestry   trees lining fish ponds, tree leaves being used as 'forage' for fish. 

 

 

 

 

 

last updated:  Friday, July 31, 2015