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Home » Mixed oil palm systems in sub-optimal climates: a tree-soil-crop interactions model

Mixed oil palm systems in sub-optimal climates: a tree-soil-crop interactions model

Ni’matul Khasanah1,2), Meine van Noordwijk1,2), Dienke Stomph2), Kurniatun Hairiah3)

1 World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Southeast Asia Regional Programme, Bogor, Indonesia

2 Plant Production Systems, Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherland

3 Department of Soil Science, Brawijaya University, Malang, Indonesia

Global demand for palm oil may double by 2020, and triple by 2050. Conversion of lowland tropical forests in areas of suitable climate into oil palm is a major concern. Oil palm is part of mixed agroforestry in its African centre of origin, but all current expansion is based on a monoculture technology. In sub-optimal oil palm climates, however, interest in mixed oil palm systems is increasing as companion trees may increase oil palm productivity. We explore mixed oil palm-cacao/rubber/cassava/groundnut/mucuna using the process-based Water, Nutrient and Light Capture in Agroforestry System (WaNuLCAS) model for Indonesian contexts, exploring modified planting patterns. The mixed systems were further analyzed for economic and environment performance and compared to the monoculture oil palm. Considerable economic and environmental system improvements appear to be feasible through mixed oil palm systems, with potential to improve oil palm system in sub-optimal climates.

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