Unwanted custom

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

what has been a traditional practice of farming could actually be detrimental to the world's tropical forests, according to a report prepared by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (cgiar). The report, which was released in the first week of August, draws attention to slash-and-burn, a practice followed by subsistence farmers the world over.

Reportedly, this practice results in the loss or degradation of nearly 10 million ha of forests every year. "The attention devoted to the problems of rain forests has helped, but it has not stopped the loss of rain forests," said Ismail Serageldin, chairperson, cgiar.To combat this onslaught, cgiar has suggested a three-pronged approach: helping farmers raise their output on land currently under use, developing more productive tropical tree types and forging logging techniques that are environment-friendly.

The international agriculture research group has also advocated the planting of trees which not only have higher yields but also have a higher food use potential like peach palms and African plums.

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