Identifying important biophysical and social determinants of on-farm tree growing in subsistence-based traditional agroforestry systems
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- Sood, K.K. & Mitchell, C.P. Agroforest Syst (2009) 75: 175. doi:10.1007/s10457-008-9180-z
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Many expert-designed agroforestry projects enunciated in 1970s around the world, particularly in the developing countries, had uneven success due to inadequate adoption or abandonment after adoption. There are many empirical studies on factors affecting on-farm tree cultivation mainly where expert-designed agroforestry programmes were introduced but lacking in case of traditional agroforestry. Moreover, the concern to identify key factors influencing on-farm tree growing is gaining importance. The present study identifies key factors in on-farm tree growing based on investigation of traditional agroforestry using logistic regression approach. The study is based on household survey of 401 households located in Indian Western Himalaya. The factors affecting on-farm tree growing were grouped into: biophysical (included land use and infrastructural aspects) and social. Models predicting on-farm tree growing for each category were developed and key factors affecting on-farm tree growing in the respective category were identified. A composite model was also developed by combining biophysical and social factors. In the present study, farm size, agroclimatic zone, soil fertility, mobility and importance of tree for future generations respectively were the key factors which influenced tree growing. In contrast to many previous studies which considered either biophysical or social factors, the composite model in the present study reveals that both biophysical and social factors are simultaneously important in motivating the farmers to grow trees on their farms in traditional agroforestry. Moreover, the present study open vistas for using farmers’ experience and knowledge of adoption of agroforestry to stimulate on-farm tree growing. The wider implication of the study is that biophysical as well as social variables should be considered together in designing suitable agroforestry systems in various parts of the world.