Agroforestry pathways towards sustainable land-use

Nienke Parma, Yke Johan Rippen and Jan Kees Luijt


The main objective of this report was to evaluate the suitability of a series of proposed agroforestry technologies, and recommend the most promising ones for further research and implementation in the selected research area. It is the completion of all phases up to the implementation phase of the Diagnosis and Design Methodology (ICRAF, 1987).

The research which consists of two parts was carried out in the uplands of the municipality of Baybay, Leyte, Philippines. The first part by Dekker and Parma, 1992 consisted of the identification of the research areas, an inventory of socio-economic problems faced by farmers in the area, current farming systems used, and environmental problems related to land use. The objective of this exercise was to design a set of agroforestry technologies which can halt environmental degradation, and yield and income reduction. The selection of suitable practices was done with the help of the pathways theory for shifting cultivation as developed by Raintree and Warner (1986). In total, nine alternatives were formulated.

Luijt and Rippen conducted the second part of the research in 1993. The objective was to take the proposed agroforestry technologies, test their suitability in the field and to recommend the most promising ones. Alter further refinement of technologies, informal talks with key farmers were used to assess the adoptability of the proposed technologies as well as to obtain feedback on possible improvements to the designs. The productivity and sustainability proposals were the evaluated. A qualitative analysis was used for this exercise due to insufficient data. Lastly, using the results from this ex-ante evaluation as well as data on the physical aspects of the area, a suitability classification was developed based on die FAO methodology of land evaluation for forestry (1984) and adapted to agroforestry according to Young (1990). This resulted in the selection of the technologies deemed most suitable for the research area.

The diagnosis and design methodology should be seen as an iterative process during the remaining stages, i.e. further research and implementation phases. It was necessary to take steps back in the methodology so as to constantly refine die proposals according to the demands of the users and the environment they are working in. The participatory approach was used so that the most favorable result can he reached to benefit both farmers and their environment.

Keywords: Agroforestry; sustainable land use: upland fanning; fanner participation; adoptability.

Annals of Tropical Research 16(4):(1994)
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