Friday 4 March, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, Gorgeous View Hall

Montane agricultural systems are very diverse, dynamic and productive, yet also highly susceptible to change. Agricultural intensification, the introduction of new crops, and climate change may lead to an imbalance in the traditional practices, resulting in land degradation and loss of agricultural diversity. This session will introduce existing sustainable management techniques from different cropping systems, as well as discuss techniques that address the rehabilitation of degraded agricultural landscapes. Multiple aspects of agroforestry systems for sustainable productivity of mountain crops will be explored.

Chair: Stefanie Goldberg (KIB) and Greg Forbes (CIP)


  • Greg Forbes (CIP): Sustainable potato production in the highlands—can we learn from Andean farmers? The presentation will focus on several major sustainability indicators related to sustainable highland potato production, and examine some traditional Andean approaches that may have lessons for conventional potato production.
  • Anne Ostermann (ICRAF): Land degradation caused by unsustainable intensification of agricultural production in mountain regions. Unsustainable intensification of agricultural production in mountain regions is causing land degradation. Based on two examples from China and Myanmar, this presentation will show how we aim to increase sustainability by establishing locally-adapted agroforestry demonstration sites.
  • Sailesh Ranjitkar (ICRAF): Distribution of ‘lapsi’ in the Himalayas. Choerospondias axillaris is a multipurpose agroforestry tree species. Its fruit is nutritious with a high market value; the trees themselves serve provide timber, fuelwood and fodder. This presentation will demonstrate how our research identifies climatically and biophysically suitable zones for lapsi plantations in current as well as future climate scenarios.
  • Dan Jeffers (CIMMYT, YAAS):  Sustainable maize production in midlands and highlands of Asia, focusing primarily on breeding for disease resistance, adaptation to different cropping systems (e.g. potato/maize relay cropping) and improved nutrient efficiency.
  • Qazi Abbas (Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation): Crop corridors. Climate corridors depict regional consequences of climate change (past changes and future scenarios) for crops in a specific area. In these corridors, we can model the prediction of a crop in the region. I have selected four important crops that grow in the highlands of different districts in Pakistan’s Hindu-Kush Himalayan region (Chitral and the neighbouring Swat, Dir, and Mansehra). In these corridors I will show the future climatic conditions for crops in these areas. These corridors help decision-makers make adaptation decisions, and help organized farmers to secure their inputs in favour of appropriate yields. This is an important tool for ensuring long-term food security in a country where the agricultural impact of climate change is highly evident.
  • Philippe Vaast (ICRAF): A decision-support tool for tree selection in smallholders’ coffee farms in Uganda. Mountain areas are the perfect place to study the effects of temperature and humidity on coffee along an altitudinal gradient, and the role of shade trees in buffering climate changes and other services (e.g. limiting soil erosion). The presentation will give an overview of a decision-support tool developed to help farmers select the ‘right’ trees according to the ecosystem service(s) they need.

Rapporteur: Clément Rigal