Farm and community forestry

TitleFarm and community forestry
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1984
AuthorsFoley, G, Barnard, GW
Secondary TitleEnergy Information Programme Technical Report no. 3
Number of Pages236
Date Published1984
PublisherEarthscan, International Institute for Environment and Development
CityLondon; Washington, DC
ISBN0-905347-53-6; 978-0-905347-53-0
Keywordscoppicing; fuelwood; pollarding; traditional agroforestry; trees

This is a portion (Chapters 2 through 6) of the book.
Chapter 2, "Traditions of Tree Cultivation" discusses the old and widespread tradition of agroforestry. The use of trees to increase agricultural productivity and to enrich the soil is an ancient practice. Trees are often used for fodder, windbreaks, boundaries, etc. Trees also provide cash crops (coconuts, rubber, gum arabic, commercial firewood, etc.).
Chapter 3, "The Causes of Tree Depletion" covers the causes of tree depletion. Trees are being cut down at accellerating rates in order to provide firewood and agricultural land. This can be constructively done under the proper circumstances, but often unsuitable land is being left open for erosion. The basic problem is that human and animal populations are growing at a faster rate than trees can match. Organized efforts to combat the problem have thus far succeeded only in revealing its magnitude.
Chapter 4, "Constraints on Tree Growing" describes some constraints to tree planting in developing nations. Some farmers believe that trees harbor insects or harmful birds. In other localities, a shortage of trees is not yet apparent. Communal ownership of land may make people reluctant to take responsibility for trees. In semiarid areas (where trees might do the most good), trees are hardest to plant and care for.
Chapter 5, "Farm Forestry" discusses the commercial growing of trees on private land. Wealthier farmers can afford large-scale operations with high start-up costs. Poorer farmers might raise a few trees for lumber or nuts, etc., if the cost is negligible. Cash incentives and credit plans might enable more farmers to grow more trees. A farm forestry plan must (1) provide support to all classes of farmers, (2) provide a clear social and environmental benefit, and (3) avoid harming the local job situation (trees can be less labor-intensive than other crops).
Chapter 6, "Tree Growing for Family Uses" examines "family forestry" (tree-based subsistance farming). Such operations are generally simple to set up but must meet some locally perceived need. It may take years for trees to prove themselves as moneymakers.


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