Publication Details

Journal Article
Article TitleFinding alternatives to swidden agriculture: does agroforestry improve livelihood options and reduce pressure on existing forest?
AuthorSyed Ajijur Rahman, Jette Bredahl Jacobsen, John Robert Healey, James M Roshetko and Terry Sunderland
Journal TitleAgroforestry Systems
Call NumberJA00686-17
Swiddencultivation often causes deforestation and land degradation, which can resultin a number of serious environmental problems. This paper examines the economicand social potential of agroforestry systems and the barriers to theirwidespread adoption, as a land use alternative to swidden cultivation, whichmay potentially help protect local forest. The Gunung Salak valley in WestJava, Indonesia is presented as a case study. Based on farmers’ and experts’assessment, costs and benefits have been estimated, which show that the twoinvestigated agroforestry systems have higher net present value (NPV) and benefit-cost ratio (B/C) than the two swidden cultivation systems. Treeownership also creates more permanent rights to farmland and is prestigious inthe community. Agroforestry products (fruit, vegetables, etc.) have highmonetary value and help strengthen social cohesion when shared with neighbors.However, farmers are reluctant to implement agroforestry. Stated reasons arerelated to both culture and capacity. Farmers practicing agroforestry are lessinvolved in forest clearing and forest products collection than swidden farmersindicating that it may contribute positively to conservation of local forests.Increasing the adoption of agroforestry farming in the study area will requiresupport to overcome capacity constraints
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