Trees in Managed Landscapes: Factors in Farmer Decision Making
AGRICULTURE IN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS, pp. 277-294, L.E. Buck, J.P. Lassoie, E.C.M. Fernandes, eds., CRC Press, 1999
12 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2011
Date Written: 1999
The presence of trees in contemporary farming systems has its origins in two attributes of trees. One is their role in sustaining crop production and their impacts on the physical environment, most notably through the restoration of nutrients and energy, and protection against damage from wind and water. The other is the role various tree products play in the household economy. This includes products directly used by rural households as food, fuel, construction materials, etc., inputs to agriculture such as fodder, mulch and raw materials for making agricultural implements and storage structures; and products or activities that provide household members with employment and income. The presence or absence of trees also may have a role in securing or maintaining rights of use or tenure. Simple visual observation discloses that today, there are few farming systems which do not incorporate trees in some fashion or another.
Until recently, tree resources in rural landscapes have been largely ignored. In comparison with what is known about the crop and livestock components of agriculture, very little is known about existing tree management practices, about farmers' perceptions of the value of trees and of different tree outputs in meeting their needs and production objectives, and about the constraints farmers face that limit their potential to develop tree resources within their farming system. Programs to stimulate tree management at this level have been severely hindered by this lack of knowledge.
This paper presents results of recent research and analysis undertaken to address some of these gaps in knowledge. The analysis moves away from the needs-based approach that dominated much earlier work on the subject, and instead examines tree management in terms of farmer livelihood strategies and of the dynamics of rural change. It draws, in particular, on a number o detailed case studies of situations in eastern Africa and south Asia.
Keywords: agroforestry, trees, rural agriculture, landscapes
JEL Classification: N57, Q12, Q23, Q00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation