Item Details

Title: Water Use and Water Productivity of Agroforestry Systems in the Semi-arid Tropics

Date Published: 2007
Author/s: C.K. Ong, S. Anyango, C.W. Muthuri and C.R. Black
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks:
Journal Publisher:
Affiliation: World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
2 Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
3 Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Juja, Kenya
4 Plant Sciences Division, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington
Campus, Loughborough, LE12 5RD, UK
Keywords: climate change, hydraulic lift, tree-crop interactions, phenology, water


The greatest challenge for agroforestry in dryland areas is to identify
species combinations and management systems which optimize the capture of scarce
available water supplies and minimize the inevitable competition between trees and
crops. This review describes recent advances in research concerning water use and
tree-crop interactions in the semi-arid tropics, focusing on studies in India and
Africa, where farming systems involving the incorporation of trees with crops are
becoming increasingly popular. We begin by establishing why and how farmers
practice agroforestry in dryland areas in order to identify the rationale underlying
their decisions and the tree management practices employed and to provide a starting
point for developing future options; only a limited number of tree species are preferred by farmers in semi-arid areas of Kenya and elsewhere in East Africa.