CTA contributes to agroforestry know-how
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CTA. 1990. CTA contributes to agroforestry know-how. Spore 28. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45320
Agroforestry in Africa, a survey of project experience by Paul Kerkhof, edited by Gerald Foley and Geoffrey Barnard. 216pp, 1990, ISBN 1 87067016 7 available from CTA and PANOS Publications Ltd, Angel House, 9 White Lion Street, London N1 9PD, UK
Agroforestry in its traditional forms has a proven record and now research trials, with new techniques and species combinations, are confirming the many productive and beneficial ways in which this discipline can yield results in the developing world. But project staff are still developing techniques and approaches in this new area as they gain experience. CTA has recently contributed to the information pool on the potential and practice of agroforestry by publishing and co-publishing two works on the subject. Project experience Agroforestry in Africa by Paul Kerkhof is a survey of project experience in Africa which aims to share the valuable lessons learned with other regions and other countries. This is a co-publication with Panos Institute, SIDA and the Commission of European Communities. The book presents a survey of the experience of 21 projects in 11 countries throughout Africa, based primarily on field visits, but backed up with project reports and other literature. In selecting and analyzing the projects, the emphasis has been on the practical results achieved. The aim has been to find out what has worked and what has not worked, under actual project conditions. The study demonstrates both the potential for agroforestry and the difficulties involved in putting it into practice. It emphasizes that there are no simple agroforestry solutions that can be expected to have instant results or be universally applicable. But it reinforces the basic relevance of agroforestry as an approach, provided it is viewed in a broad sense, and provided it is implemented in a way that is sensitive to the needs and priorities of local people. Its real value is that it takes the viewpoint of those people most actively involved in the design and implementation of projects. It is concerned only with recent work: all the fieldwork was carried out between March 1988 and May 1989 on projects which have been in existence for a minimum of three to four years. The author has taken a broad view of agroforestry and the projects represent the widest possible range of ecological conditions and approaches to the subject. But the common denominator is that all involve the active management of trees within a farming environment. The book is divided into three parts: a summary of the overall lessons to be drawn from the experiences recorded; profiles of individual projects; and a study of the key elements in the design and running of projects. Combating desertification Agroforestry and desertification; the potential role of agroforestry in combating desertification and environmental degradetion with special reference to Africa, solely funded by CTA and written by Michel Baumer (originally published in French) is a work geared to a more specialist readership. This publication explores the role that agroforestry may play in the fight against desertification by first exploring the causes and process of desertification in the ACP countries, the problems it presents, and the agroforestry systems which are suited to these countries. It then looks at the type of woody vegetation naturally occurring in dry zones. Effective agroforestry systems, however, depend on the will and participation of governments, and the final part is an examination of political will, land tenure and ownership of trees, and to technology and research. The author concludes that where feasible the agroforestry solution is particularly significant in its anti-desertification effect. It is well-suited to small farming units and to great silvo-pastoral expanses alike, firstly because it primarily uses local woody perennials, plants and animals that are familiar to the people and very often admirably suited to the conditions. Even the preferred manner in which trees are planted in agroforestry singly or in small groups in suitable micro-climates, as opposed to a large concentration of trees, is more suitable to the environment: no one can reasonably believe that very extensive mass planting could succeed in conditions such as prevail in regions under threat of desertification. But solutions such as those favoured by agroforestry, aimed at making the best possible use of the particular features of the land, adapting plans to the soil potential and at the same time to the needs of the people, do have a chance of succeeding. Agroforestry in Africa, a survey of project experience by Paul Kerkhof, edited by Gerald Foley and Geoffrey Barnard. 216pp, 1990, ISBN 1 87067016 7 available from CTA and PANOS Publications Ltd, Angel House, 9 White Lion Street, London N1 9PD, UK Agroforesty and desertification by Michel Baumer, 250pp, ISBN 92 9081039 4, available from CTA.