The World Congress on Agroforestry:
Shaping a new global agriculture with trees

wca heading


Trees for Life, the World Congress on Agroforestry 2014, 10-14 February 2014, Delhi, India

Global conference will accelerate the use of trees in agriculture and in the landscape to meet the needs of a burgeoning world population

29 January 2014. In India, 65 percent of the country’s timber and almost half of its fuel wood is sourced from trees on farms and outside forests. In Mali, farmers are increasing their maize yields by up to 400 percent when they grow their crops under nitrogen-fixing trees. In Peru farmers are almost doubling the carbon stocks in their cocoa gardens by planting trees. In Vietnam communities are protecting themselves from the effects of climate change with trees.

These and many other success stories will be discussed in the World Congress on Agroforestry to be held in Delhi, India on 10-14 February 2014. The Congress, entitled ‘Trees for Life’, will see over a 1000 participants drawn from the private sector, research and development sharing the current state of knowledge on the positive financial, environmental and social impacts of agroforestry.

Agroforestry is the practice of growing useful trees on farms and in the landscape.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), together with the Indian Society of Agroforestry, are organizing the Congress, aimed at accelerating the contribution that trees can make to world development.

An agricultural revolution is needed to meet the demands for tomorrow’s food.  As much food needs to be grown in the next 40 years as has been produced in the past 8000 years. The demand for natural products such as timber, plant-based medicines and fodder is also burgeoning. To stand any hope of meeting these demands, global agriculture needs to be drastically modified, especially by incorporating useful trees into farms and the landscape.

Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, will give the inaugural address, backed up by several ministers from his government. The world-renown scientist  M.S. Swaminathan will give a keynote address on the contributions that agroforestry is making to development, especially in India, and breakout sessions will discuss agroforestry systems, income and environmental benefits, climate change, livestock and fish systems

Offering a  unique opportunity for the business and development communities to interact, the Congress will be built around a structure dealing with science and innovation; food and nutrition; environmental protection; enterprise; knowledge and policy environment; and climate change.

Howard Shapiro, the Chief Agronomist at Mars Incorporated, will lead a discussion on the science that underpins the business of agroforestry, with contributions from, among others, the Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo Inc.  Key scientists and development experts from around the world will discuss ways to apply the latest scientific innovations to bring benefits to farmers on the ground.

Dennis Garrity, a Drylands Ambassador for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, will chair a panel discussing the integration of science, business and the Sustainable Development Goals, aided by a panel of senior business leaders such as Harish Bhat, the CEO of Tata Global Beverages.

“Trees play a crucial role in almost all the Earth’s ecosystems and benefits rural and urban people,” said Tony Simons, the Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre. “Landscapes without trees can quickly erode into barren, unproductive expanses. As well as bringing many environmental benefits, adding trees to agriculture can be highly profitable. This Congress will produce a roadmap for the future of agroforestry.”

Follow the Congress via #WCA2014 on Twitter, on Facebook and on our blog.

Media briefing

A media briefing is being scheduled for 11am on Tuesday 11th February with speakers from the opening plenary session including Howard Shapiro and other key business leaders. To attend this briefing and be part of the accredited media for the event please contact Daniel Kapsoot (d.kapsoot(at)

The World Congress on Agroforestry will be co-organized by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (, the World Agroforestry Centre (, which is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, the Indian Society of Agroforestry ( and Global Initiatives (

For further details, see or email wca2014(at)

3 People have left comments on this post

» Dennis Ombaki said: { Feb 2, 2014 - 06:02:22 }

am a university student pursuing environmental conservation and natural resource management university of Nairobi, what has been to incorporate the young people in advocating and education the masses about the importantance of conservating the environment, we got the knowledge but we lack the financial stamina to sustain our activities,, and is there a way you can atlist be inviting the young people to your fora like this so that we can learn more from interacting with various environmentalists?

» George Taylor said: { Feb 3, 2014 - 01:02:57 }

I hope that delegates will be made aware of the remarkable grass-roots progress made by farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR) and its potential to meet the objectives of the Congress (“to accelerate the use of trees in agriculture and in the landscape to meet the needs of a burgeoning world population”).

For those not familiar with FMNR, two excellent places to start are and .

Those with a research bent may wish to consult this IFPRI document:

Those interested in visuals and some of the story of FMNR in the drylands of West Africa may be interested in this film:

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Farmers have been showing a way forward for the past 25 years. The Congress can, and I hope will, take important steps to help move work on FMNR forward. Best wishes for a productive Congress.

» Nuwagaba Johnson said: { Feb 6, 2014 - 05:02:30 }

World Congress on Agroforestry is some thing that should be held at least bi-annually and also the organizers should ensure that they involve most of the stakeholders and international NGOs that embrace agroforestry practices which are really good for sustainable agricultural productivity. These should be from Africa, East Africa especially where most of the deforestation is taking place and green house effects are being realized.
I acknowledge the role agroforestry plays in sustainable agriculture and I really pray that this congress looks at the way NGOs which have a component of agroforestry in their deliverables can be FUNDED to spear head the planting of agroforestry trees.
I am Nuwagaba Johnson working as Programme Coordinator-Agribusiness & Livelihoods at self Help Africa-Uganda and formerly working as Farm Enterprise Development Officer at Vi Agroforestry-Uganda.

Vigyan Bhavan & Kempinski Ambience

10 - 14 February 2014 Delhi, India
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