Designing Hope and The Ivory Foundation are working with the NGO APAF International to develop agroforestry training.
The definition given by the World Agroforestry Center is as follows: “A dynamic natural resource management system based on ecological foundations, integrating trees on farms and the rural landscape, thus diversifying and maintaining production in order to improve the social, economic and environmental conditions of all users of the land.”

Agroforestry is a rational land use system that increases the total productivity of cropland through the combination of trees and crops. This old agronomic technique can meet many expectations of human societies.

Rapidly and not exhaustively, agroforestry has the following qualities:

  • it fertilizes the soil, enriches it with organic matter and structures them
  • it enriches the biodiversity of cultivated areas and thus stabilizes the environments
  • it moderates the soil’s microclimate and helps adapt to climate change;
    crop evapotranspiration is decreased
  • it improves soil porosity and water and nutrient storage capacities
  • it diversifies sources of income through the production of firewood, labor and forage
  • it increases incomes per saving of fertilizer and treatment

At the same time, agroforestry contributes to the fight against erosion, deforestation, desertification and the storage of carbon in the trees’ wood and in soils enriched with organic matter; and thus reduce the volume of “carbon dioxide”, a greenhouse gas responsible for climate change.

Finally, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), more than 1 billion hectares are available for conversion into high productivity agroforestry systems that have the potential to reduce poverty and deforestation significantly, and sequester carbon on a large scale. According to the IPCC, the potential for carbon sequestration could reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by 50 billion tons within 50 years.

Permaculture (= permanent cropping) goes beyond a simple ecological agricultural production system. Its approach encompasses all aspects of daily life and connects all elements, including human beings, with each other.

An important place is given to the design of the garden, carried out after a long period of observation and in which the different parts are placed so as to optimize the available resources, the space and the displacements.

In Africa, where the climate is favorable, associations like APAF use certain families of trees, called fertilizing trees, to enrich the soil.

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Below are publications related to agroforestry:

New growing beds at Yagma

The gardeners at Yagma have put in place new planting beds following the end of the rainy season. The seedlings planted in October and November will benefit from a milder climate to reach maturity before the very hot weather starts in March.

The importance of Yagma’s agroforestry vegetable garden in absorbing excess rainwater

In the Yagma school district, during the rainy season, the massive quantity of rainwater cannot be absorbed by the compact soil of the area, and runs off into pools that have formed in places in the middle of the city, encouraging the … Read More

Yagma under the winter rain

Every year during the rainy season, the Yagma district is flooded with water running down the dirt tracks.Real ephemeral rivers sometimes block the streets. The agroforestry garden at the Yagma school is shown in these photos as an island spared … Read More

Squash harvest in the Yagma garden

During the rainy season, the Yagma gardeners planted a combination of squash and maize in the school garden. Maize, which needs water, is particularly suited to this crop, and appreciates the companionship of cucurbits, according to the Milpa principle.

Boards of Moringa in Bala

At the Bala seed farm, a different agroforestry technique has been introduced. Until then, fertiliser trees had criss-crossed the land. On this new plot, the corridor cultivation technique was used. The moringa plants are planted in a tight row, and … Read More

Maintenance of courgette beds in Yagma

The Yagma garden team prepared courgette and maize beds before the onset of the rainy season. Maize requires a lot of water, so this season is ideal for planting and growing it. Its rapid growth will enable it to be … Read More

Papayer of Bala garden, Senegal

On agroforestry schemes, fertiliser trees and fruit trees are intercropped to maximize the productivity of the market garden schemes. The former fertilise the soil for market garden production, and the latter provide additional income through fruit production.  Here in pictures … Read More

Planting trees in the Garden of Skills, Eswatini

The Garden of Skills is a pilot project in agroforestry whose objective is to promote agroecological practices by becoming a training center in agroforestry. Thus, following the principles of agroforestry, the women in charge of the garden have planted trees … Read More

The end of the dry season in the Yagma garden

Since mid-October, it is the dry season in Burkina Faso. Rain is very scarce and temperatures are close to 40°C in Ouagadougou. Even though the rains are coming, it is still necessary to water the crops, here the courgettes, so … Read More

New cultivation beds

New crop beds have been prepared in Yagma! These have been set up at the foot of the fertilizer trees, allowing them to demonstrate their role and efficiency within an agroforestry system. In fact, in addition to improving the texture … Read More

Plantations of fruit trees

The 5 deaf and hearing-impaired youngsters of Saint Monica planted fruit trees between the crop plots! Following the principle of agroforestry, the main function of these trees is to provide shade for the crops. One of the other functions they … Read More

Garden preparation with the children in Yagma, Burkina Faso

In the agroforestry garden at the Yagma school on the outskirts of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, students are involved in its maintenance. Indeed, they prepare cultivation beds that will contribute to the improvement of their daily meals. This garden, set … Read More

A flowery garden in Burkina Faso

During summer, the gardener maintains the Yagma school kitchen garden. The peppers are covered with fruit. The trees are growing and will soon bring shade to the crops.  

Harvesting at the Campus Vert, in Koudougou

New pepper harvest by the Campus Vert association on their demonstration garden. New fertilizing tree seedlings were also planted to plant on the plots.

The fertilizer tree of Yagma

Trees grow in Yagma’s garden! Fertilizing trees and fruit trees are growing and will soon bring shade to the garden!  

Agroforestry in Yagma: First Moringa trees

In Yagma, the garden is flourishing! The first fertilizing trees begin to grow. Souleymane Traoré, the president of APAF Burkina, explains to the children how to harvest the leaves of Moringa to use them to flavor the meals, after having … Read More


In agroforestry, hedgerows can play a dual role: A defensive role and a shelterbelt role. In Africa, in particular, the main threat to vegetable gardens comes from wandering animals, unregulated wandering herds or whose shepherds feed the animals without worrying … Read More

Preparing the soil for the plant nursery

One of the first steps in APAF’s agroforestry training in Southern Africa was to prepare the nursery for seed sowing. This required identifying local fertilizer trees similar to the seeds to be planted, in order to recover soil near the … Read More

Plant nursery Preparation – Mamohato Children Center

A space has been delimited to accommodate the nursery, which will produce the necessary fertilizer trees for the field.

Plants to protect the plots

In Lesotho, agaves are used as barriers to protect cultures from animals.

Mamohato Children Center

Located on the outskirts of Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, this holiday center, funded by NGO Sentebale hosts groups of HIV positive children during the school holidays for one week. They come from all over the country, and enjoy a … Read More

Agroforestry – Ladysmih

On the occasion of the agroforestry training given by APAF in May 2017, a visit was organized to Ladysmith. The children of the Halfway House of Roosboom have set up a nursery and sowed the seeds of fertilizer trees given … Read More

Search for indigenous fertilizer trees, Piggs Peak – Swaziland

During the training given by APAF International, Pascal Humbert has been searching for fertilizer trees in the Piggs Peak region. He quickly identified the Leuceana. The Leuceana is a great asset in agroforestry: it fertilizes the soil that nourishes it, … Read More

First fertilizing tree seedlings – Yagma

The fertilizing trees are now ready to be transplanted onto the growing beds.

Fertilizer tree nursery

The compost was used and incorporated into the plots. The shaded hut and the trenches dugged for the compost will be used now as a nursery for the fertilizing trees. Plastic bags, filled with a mixture of soil and compost, … Read More

Mamohato Children Center – preparation of the agroforestry plot

Training in agroforestry techniques was provided in May 2017 in Lesotho at the Mamohato Children Center. With one member of APAF  in charge of this training, plots have been identified in order to prepare the establishment of a vegetable garden … Read More

Lesotho – Preparation of planting fertilizer trees

The seeds of fertilizer trees are covered with a natural coat which protects them but which also slows down the germination process. Some seeds require a scarification, which breaks this protective envelope. The seeds of moringa or gliricidia require only … Read More

Preparation of the ground in Koudougou

Since 2011, Designing Hope has been developing a partnership with the Laafi village in Koudougou in the field of awareness of early pregnancy and HIV / AIDS. In February 2017, a new project completes this collaboration in partnership with APAF … Read More

Agroforestry by APAF in Burkina Faso

This film presents the action of APAF in agroforestry in Burkina Faso. APAF is a pioneer in agroforestry in West Africa, with knowledge of local fertilizer tree species helping to regenerate the soil, in association with organic market gardening, and … Read More