Agro-forestry is a land use system that combines agricultural and forestry practices to create a more holistic, integrated and sustainable system of food production.
The planting of trees may aid farmers since tree roots can bind soil and limit soil erosion, deep-rooted trees can tap new nutrient sources, leguminous trees can fix atmospheric nitrogen and improve soil fertility, leaf litter can add organic matter, and tree cover can moderate temperatures. In addition, trees may provide food, fodder, firewood, and timber.
In 2000 the Ferreira Farm switched from commercial monoculture (banana growing) to the agro-forestry system which led to the farm becoming 100% self-sufficient and organic in just 5 years.
From 2000 to 2005 over 84,000 trees were planted, 80% native to the Atlantic Rainforest, including 60 different types of fruit tree.