Agroforestry in sub-Saharan Africa: A farmer's perspective

TitleAgroforestry in sub-Saharan Africa: A farmer's perspective
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsCook, CC, Grut, M
Secondary TitleWorld Bank Technical Paper no. 112
Number of Pages94
Date Published1989
PublisherWorld Bank
CityWashington, DC
ISBN0-8213-1389-4, 978-0-8213-1389-3
Call NumberS494.5.A45C66 1989
Keywordsagroforestry; Sub-Saharan Africa

This study reviews agroforestry practices in Sub-Saharan Africa as seen from the farmer's perspective. Agroforestry, broadly defined as the integration of trees and shrubs in farming systems, offers one of the most promising technological options for reversing soil degradation, restoring tree cover, and improving agricultural productivity in Africa. The literature on agroforestry was reviewed in order to identify a limited number of successful experiences for further field study. Seven case studies were then conducted by an interdisciplinary team, covering indigenous and innovative systems found in the highlands of East Africa, the semi-arid zone, and the humid lowlands of West Africa.
This review identified a number of issues that need to be considered in the design and implementation of agroforestry projects for Africa in order for them to be successful. Key findings include the importance of understanding the economics of agroforestry systems from the farmer's point of view as well as from the broader perspective of the benefits to society. Project evaluation should therefore take into account local markets and opportunities for off- farm employment offered by tree products, as well as the opportunity costs perceived by farmers in making adoption decisions. Farm households are not homogeneous, and project design should be adapted to the socioeconomic level, age and gender of the people who are expected to adopt the proposed technology. In Africa, trees are integral parts of agro-sylvo- pastoral farming systems and should be considered in this sociocultural context, with particular attention to the constraints imposed by customary and legal rules regarding land and tree tenure. The institutional framework for implementation should be selected and developed with a view to long-term sustainability. Recommendations are made for the technical, economic, social, and institutional design of projects and for the direction of future research. (author)

Research Notes

Local system: (OCoLC)20630167 Bibliography note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 63-94) Collection title: CIKARD-Center for Indigenous Knowledge in Agriculture and Rural Development. Department of Anthropology, Iowa State University

Short TitleAgroforestry in sub-Saharan Africa