Indigenous and Historical Approaches: an excerpt

Chapter 2

Alongside the rapid and expansive growth of industrial agriculture were a small group of academics and agronomists who proposed strong arguments for the role tree crops could play in a more sustainable food system. Unfortunately, attention was really only paid to high-value commodity tropical crops such as coffee and cocoa, and little paid to nut trees, legumes,

A large emphasis by all the gentlemen mentioned below is that these systems are suitable for marginal lands and thus would not compete/interfere with field cropping production. Steep slopes and land with poor soils are particularly appropriate for agroforestry systems. Examining these arguments from the early 20th century makes the “technology” of tree crops feel at once old in concept but new in practice – perhaps with rising food costs, the degradation of soils, and the unsustainable nature of modern crop agriculture more farmers will pay attention to the long-term, regenerative, and stable form that is forest agriculture.