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A Perennial Perspective

Dr. Tony Simons, Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre, delivered a talk on "The Science Needs of Development: A perennial perspective" to an audience of World Bank and CGIAR staff on January 12, 2012.

The presentation gave rise to many questions: How do you nudge societies to adopt a tree planting culture? Why is the science of scaling up successful agroforestry programs still lagging? Can we emulate the health sector in this regard? (The question of scaling up successful tree-based models was also very much on the agenda of the Nairobi forum hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre last May.)  

His presentation, attached below, also shed light on new areas of focus for the World Agroforestry Centre, including renewed interest in land tenure, rights and resources; production economics; and tree commodities. The relevance of these questions for food security was particularly striking:

  • We need¬†to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have done in the last 8,000 years (according to WWF's Jason Clay)¬†
  • At the same time, we're on the verge of productivity collapse in many farming¬†systems because of a lack¬†of fallowing. Agoforestry could help¬†reverse that trend.¬†
  • Who will farm in the future? How will we enthuse the next generation to farm and invest in¬†trees?¬†

Many of the slides featured clever diagrams. Do browse through his presentation and leave comments on this blog.

 Slide from Tony Simons presentation

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