The Nairobi-based World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has developed a new agroforestry app that will provide comprehensive information on crops, trees, nurseries and suitable agricultural practices.
The app was developed in partnership with Indian stakeholders with the view of providing farmers, extensionists and decision-makers with timely information regarding site-specific agroforestry systems.
Unlike other apps, this one not only helps you identify the perfect tree for the right spot, but it also gives you detailed information on integrated agroforestry systems, the availability of high-quality planting material, and the locations of nearby nurseries.
“The app will fill the void of lack of information and knowledge among farmers and extension workers and accelerate the implementation of the agroforestry schemes. The integration in the app of nurseries with available quality planting material is a great step forward,” observed Shri Vashishth, an Indian national, during the launch of the app recently.
According to the researchers, the mobile app will distribute information on trees and companion crops, as well as the availability of high-quality planting materials and practice packages.
“Upon entering the parameters — that is, state, district, season, topography, land use, irrigation, and intervention type — the app gives recommendations of suitable crops, trees and agronomic practices as well as nearby nurseries to access the tree seedlings,” noted Dr Rajkumar Singh, a geo-informatics research scientist at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)-ICRAF.
Dr. Singh said this method can help farmers and extension workers identify the best trees and crops for their farms, and find quality planting material. He also added that they receive appropriate suggestions for tree and crop combinations.
Agroforestry systems have been found to help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change by improving water conservation and microclimatic conditions, as well as improving soil quality, nutrition, and profitability.