Photo by Sandeep Premraj on Pexels

Agricultural Approach: Agroforestry

Agroforestry Systems

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in the Philippines due to its role in food security and income generation. Unfortunately, it is the sector most prone to the effects of climate change and it is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Agroforestry is the practice of planting woody trees/shrubs in farms. It is a method that aids farmers in adapting to climate risks, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving biodiversity, and enhancing the ecosystem [1][2][5][6].

Climate Adaptation Effectiveness

The presence of trees in farms reduces climate risks with the introduction of deep root systems. These deep root systems allow the farms to adapt to drought or low rainfall events by increasing soil porosity and reducing runoff which leads to increased water infiltration and retention. These systems also absorb more water and nutrients due to its far reach into the soil profile. Higher evapotranspiration rates have also been associated with these systems thus aiding in the aeration of the soil which promotes release of moisture during low rainfall periods [6].

Climate Hazards

  • Drought
  • Rainfall Variability
  • Tropical Cyclone


  • Southern Luzon incl. Bicol, , Region V (Bicol Region)
  • , Region VIII (Eastern Visayas)
  • Southern and Eastern Mindanao, , Region XI (Davao)
  • Southern and Eastern Mindanao, , Region XIII (Caraga Region)

Adaptation Sectors

  • Agriculture
  • Biodiversity
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Ecosystem-Based Approaches
  • Forestry
  • Water Management

CCET Instuments

  • Action Delivery

Target Group based on Vulnerability

Basic Sectors:
  • Children
  • Farmers and Landless Rural Workers
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Persons with Disabilities
  • Senior Citizens
  • Women
  • Youth and Students


Economic / Financial Effectiveness

Agroforestry reduces overall input such as fertilizer and water in the production of crops. Although there is a possibility of lowered crop yield due to the trees occupying portions of the farm area, studies show that implementing agroforestry would be much more economically beneficial in the long run. This is due to the addition of products coming from the trees which diversifies the sources of income; and the ability of agroforestry to reduce climate change risks. This maintains productivity of the land all year round, and promotes food security [6]. However, it should be noted that the effectivity of agroforestry depends on tree species planted, soil characteristics, agricultural practices, and other factors [4].

Technical Feasibility

Enhancing technical knowledge and capacity building for farmers are needed before agroforestry can be successfully adopted [3].

Social Acceptability

As of 2017, agroforestry had an adoption rate of less than 30% in Southern Luzon, Eastern Visayas, and in Southern and Eastern Mindanao [2].

Environmental Impact
High (+)

Agroforestry promotes soil fertility and water conservation through increased water and nutrient absorption, and soil aeration by the root systems. This also increases soil organism activity which enhances subsurface biodiversity. The presence of trees also creates new habitat for wildlife [5].

Other Information

The CRA was tested against eight climate smartness dimensions: yield or productivity, adaptation (income, water, soil, and risks), and mitigation (energy, carbon, and nitrogen). The overall climate smartness in Southern Luzon including Bicol and Eastern Visayas is 3.3, and 4.5 in Southern and Eastern Mindanao.

Mitigation co-benefit

Agroforestry reduces greenhouse gas emissions through trees grown without the use of too much inorganic fertilizers. It also enhances soil and biomass carbon stock.


agroforestry, tree-based systems, diversification, water infiltration, water retention in soil, aerated soil condition


[1] Dikitanan, R., Grosjean, G., Nowak, A., Leyte, J. (2017). Climate-Resilient Agriculture in Philippines. CSA Country Profiles for Asia Series. International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT); Department of Agriculture - Adaptation and Mitigation Initiatives in Agriculture, Government of the Philippines. Manila, Philippines. 24.
[2] Lasco, R., Habito, C., Delfino, R., Pulhin, F., and Concepcion, R. (2011). Climate Change Adaptation for Smallholder Farmers in Southeast Asia. Laguna: World Agroforestry Center.
[3] Matocha, J., Schroth, G., Hills, T., Hole, D. (2012). Integrating Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation through Agroforestry and Ecosystem Conservation. In: Nair, P., Garrity, D. (eds) Agroforestry - The Future of Global Land Use. Advances in Agroforestry, vol 9. Springer, Dordrecht.
[4] Mbow, C., Smith, P., Skole, D., Duguma, L., and Bustamante, M. (2014). Achieving mitigation and adaptation to climate change through sustainable agroforestry practices in Africa. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 6, pp. 8-14.
[5] Torralba, M., Fagerholm, N., Burgess, P., Moreno, G., and Plieninger, T. (2016). Do European agroforestry systems enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services? A meta-analysis. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 230, pp.150-161.
[6] Verchot, L.V., Van Noordwijk, M., Kandji, S. et al. Climate change: linking adaptation and mitigation through agroforestry. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 12, 901–918 (2007).