, Volume 83, Issue 3, pp 267-278
Date: 12 Apr 2011

Community assessment of agroforestry opportunities in GaMothiba, South Africa

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Evaluating environmentally sustainable and culturally sensitive approaches to natural resource management issues is a necessary step towards improving livelihoods in rural South Africa. This study assessed the applicability of various agroforestry practices to natural resource management issues in the village of GaMothiba located in the northwestern region of South Africa. Agroforestry assessments were carried out using a community based approach through the application of participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methods. These methods were selected in order to assess the acceptability of agroforestry practices according to the perspective of the local people. The assessment process culminated in a variety of community designed agroforestry interventions. The acceptability of agroforestry practices is largely influenced by the degree of community cohesion, land rights, and cooperation between traditional and municipal authority figures. Understanding the opportunities and constraints of agroforestry adoption in rural sub-Saharan Africa furthers the movement towards community based natural resource management and ultimately a more sustainable approach to rural development.