Land, as a natural resource, plays a variety of roles, including that of a large producer of agricultural commodities. Increased population and basic needs have necessitated larger areas and more intensive cultivation.
Yakopi, an environmental NGO, has also played an active role in developing an agroforestry program on the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Because this program is extremely beneficial in terms of lowering emissions and producing carbon in Sumatra and Indonesia.
Based on this, optimal land management activities are required to achieve maximum results in order to meet increasing demands; one method for optimal land use is through agroforestry activities.
Agroforestry (Wana Tani) is the management of optimal and sustainable land use through the integration of forestry and agricultural activities in community social, economic, and cultural management units.
Agroforestry Functions and Roles
1. Agroforestry as an alternative form of land use has a function and role that is closer to forests in terms of biophysical, social and economic aspects besides being able to sustain agricultural yields in a sustainable manner and make a very important contribution to environmental services and is often used as a an example of a healthy farming system
2. The Role of Agroforestry in Biophysical and Environmental Aspects at the landscape scale Land use change from forest to agriculture results in various negative impacts. The application of agroforestry provides the greatest benefits for both farmers’ income and environmental services.
3. The agroforestry land use system provides a promising offer for the restoration of forest functions: (a) Maintaining physical and soil fertility. (b) Maintaining the hydrological function of the area. (c) Reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (d) Maintaining biodiversity
4. The role of agroforestry on the physical properties of the soil. The process of land use change directly affects the condition of the soil surface, various kinds of disturbances directly affect the soil surface, such as exposure to sunlight and rainwater, so the direct impact is a decrease in soil porosity, resulting in a decrease in infiltration.
5. The role of agroforestry in reducing greenhouse gases and maintaining carbon stocks Increasing the planting of trees can increase C reserves in nature vegetatively, the presence of trees/plants can reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the result is carbohydrates accumulated in plant biomass
6.The role of socio-cultural aspects of agroforestry is an important factor in the development of land use and tenure systems and patterns, especially in traditional communities, its function is closely related to efforts to preserve community cultural identity and local institutions and the preservation of traditional knowledge.
Agroforestry can be classified into the following types:
1. Simple Agroforestry System: Simple agroforestry system is an agricultural system in which trees are intercropped with one or more types of annual crops. Trees can be planted as a fence around crop plots, randomly within plots, or in other patterns such as lining up in rows to form aisles/fences.
2. Complex Agroforestry Systems: Forests and Gardens A complex agroforestry system is a sedentary farming system that includes many types of tree crops (tree-based) that are either intentionally planted or grow naturally on a plot of land and are managed by farmers using cropping patterns and forest-like ecosystems. Apart from a wide variety of trees, this system contains a large number of shrubs, climbing plants (lianas), seasonal plants, and grasses. Because the physical appearance and dynamics of this complex agroforestry system are similar to natural forest ecosystems, both primary and secondary forests, it can also be called an Agroforest (ICRAF, 1996).
Currently Yakopi has also planted agroforestry plants in several districts in Aceh and North Sumatra Provinces as a support for the ongoing coastal program. The objective of the Yakopi program is to support upstream and downstream programs, namely strengthening terrestrial forests with agroforestry and coastal programs by planting mangroves and other coastal plants to strengthen the coastal zone.
And in the agroforestry program carried out by Yakopi they have also conducted training on nurseries and planting of agroforestry plants for groups in the villages that have been formed so that the group activities involved in the Yakopi program can be more independent.