The Role of Trees in Land Use

Products and services derived from agro-forestry systems

Agro-forestry practices contribute a wide range of products and services. Trees may provide food, shelter, energy, medicine, cash/income, raw materials for crafts, fodder and forage and resources to meet social obligations. Trees used in agro-forestry systems can also provide a variety of services such as being a form of saving and investment and contributing to the improvement of soil fertility for crop production.

These products and services can be summarized as follows:


  • Increased amounts of food
  • Provides food throughout the year
  • Provides better-quality food


  • Increased fuel wood supply
  • Better-quality fuel wood
  • Cheaper and more convenient fuel wood sources

Shelter, Structures

  • Building materials
  • Shade
  • Protection from wind
  • Protection from animals
  • Marking of boundaries


  • Preventive (to maintain health)
  • Curative (to treat diseases or injuries)
  • Veterinary medicine

Raw materials for craft and cottage industry

  • An increased supply of materials
  • New types of material
  • Cash income, savings and investment
  • Employment (cash earnings)
  • Sale of products (cash earnings)
  • Substitution of own products for purchased items (less cash spent)
  • Exchange of products for other goods (less cash spent)
  • New forms of saving and investment
  • Greater profitability or security of existing savings and investment

Fodder and forage

  • Primary feed
  • Supplementary feed