By Dean Current, Ernst Lutz, Sara J. Scherr, Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza, International Food Policy Research Institute, World Bank
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Extra resources for Costs, benefits, and farmer adoption of agroforestry: project experience in Central America and the Caribbean
Evolution of Agroforestry in Central America and the Caribbean Numerous projects have been established in the past two decades throughout Central America and the Caribbean to promote communal and individual tree plantings and agroforestry systems. The evolution of agroforestry efforts in the region broadly followed (and in some cases led) international trends in thinking and action about agroforestry. In the late 1970s and early 1980s there was an emphasis on forestry for fuelwood production and the use of agroforestry systems for on-farm plantings (Eckholm 1975, King 1979).
Specific technical problems were identified through farmer surveys, focus group discussions and interviews with project staff. They assessed experience with tree species choice, tree-crop interactions, and methods of tree establishment. Policy Assessment Policy factors affecting agroforestry adoption, project implementation, or the profitability of agroforestry were identified from several sources. Country overviews included public documents, key informants, and the grey literature. The project case studies provided insights on policy from project staff and farmer interviews and documented the constraints to implementation caused by specific problems in the legal, institutional and policy structures.
What level and type of field extension effort are needed to disseminate new agroforestry species and information and to encourage adoption? What are the principal farm-level constraints to further adoption of agroforestry? What kinds of policy action would encourage appropriate agroforestry adoption? To address these questions, this study analyzed the agroforestry experience from twenty-one projects in eight countries of Central America and the Caribbean and drew together the lessons to help direct and provide input for the design and execution of future efforts.