From principles to practice:

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Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR); World Agroforestry (ICRAF)


When applying the three principles of agroforestry design (farmer-centredness; aptness to place, people and purpose; and synergy), it is important to recognize that each landscape is unique and should therefore have its own unique agroforestry systems. Trees in these systems can have very different functions, ranging from being flotilla species in systems that focus on food production, to being the flagship species in systems that are designed to restore degraded forested landscapes. This chapter describes a small selection of featured systems to illustrate the different functions of trees and the resulting design and management implications. The featured systems should not be read as blueprints for direct application, but as examples of common and robust systems that might be used in specific locations after appropriate modifications.



Agroforestry Design, Farmer-centredness, Aptness, Trees, Flotilla species


Gassner A, Bande M, Harrison RD, Mercado A, Miccolis A, Mukuralinda A, Neidel D, Okia CA, Somarriba E, Thorne P. (2022). From principles to practice: Key systems. In Gassner A and Dobie P. eds. Agroforestry: A primer. Design and management principles for people and the environment. Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Nairobi: World Agroforestry (ICRAF) 114–153.