Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 113–129 | Cite as

From forest to agroforest and logger to agroforester: a case study

  • S. Fujisaka
  • E. Wollenberg


This paper examines interactive change and adaptation of human and natural systems in two pioneer forest settlements in the Philippines. The forest ecosystem was converted by logging, further resource extraction by settlers, and cultivation — factors usually associated with systems degradation. Natural succession, however, was rapid because of high rainfall and abundant forest seed stocks; and because of high rainfall, weeds, insect pests, and poor soil — annual cereal and cash cropping was not profitable or sustainable and farmers turned to root and mixed perennial cropping. This naturally developing, more sustainable agroforestry was initially financed by boom-and-bust incomes from small scale logging and charcoal making, and took place in spite of the settlers' formation of factions and an ‘us before them’ attitude towards resource use.

Key words

tropical forest natural succession pioneer settlement interactive systems change and adaptation resource exploitation farmer knowledge perennial cropping 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ahn PM (1979) The optimum length of planned fallows. In: Mongi HO, Huxley PA, eds, Social Research in Agroforestry. Nairobi. International Council for Research on AgroforestryGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Allen JC (1985) Soil responses to forest clearing in the United States and the topics: geological and biological factors. Biotropica 17(1): 15–27Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Arnason T, Lambert JDH, Gale J, Cal J and Vernon H (1982) Decline of soil fertility due to intensification of land use by shifting agriculturalists in Belize, Central America. Agroecosystems 8: 27–37Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Clarke W (1976) Maintenance of agriculture and human habitats within the tropical forest ecosystem. Human Ecology 4(3): 247–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cock JH (1982) Cassava: a basic energy source in the tropics. Science 218: 755–762PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Conway G (1986) Agroecosystems Analysis for Research and Development. Bangkok. Winrock InternationalGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fernandez C (1973) Blueprints and realities: adaptive processes and development policies in a frontier resettlement community. Asia 28: 61–91Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fujisaka S and Capistrano AD (1985) Pioneer shifting cultivation in Calminoe: sustainability or degradation from changing human-ecosystem interactions? EAPI Working Paper. Honolulu. East-West CenterGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fujisaka S and Capistrano AD (1986) Towards upland development in Calminoe: interactions among resource use, social system, and national policy. In: Fujisaka S, Sajise P and Del Castillo R, eds, Man, Agriculture, and the Tropical Forest: Change and Development in the Philippine Uplands. Bangkok. Winrock InternationalGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gagney W (1981) The transformation and intensification of shifting agriculture: past and present conservation practices. In: Morauta, Pernetta, and Haney, eds, Traditional Conservation in Papua New Guinea: Implications for Today. Boroko, PNG. Institute for Applied Social and Economic Research (IASER) 16Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Glover N and Beer J (1986) Nutrient cycling in two traditional Central American agroforestry systems. Agroforestry Systems 4: 77–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gonzaga R, Roxas N and Price Jr. E (1985) Subsistence upland rice cultivation systems: an economic consideration. Unpublished paper. Los Banos, Philippines. International Rice Research InstituteGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kartawinata K, Soedjito H, Jessup T, Vadya AP and Colfer CJP (1984) The impact of development on interactions between people and forest in East Kalimantan: a comparison of two areas of Kenya Dayak settlement. In: Hanks S, ed, Traditional Life Styles, Conservation, and Rural Development. IUCN (EAPI Reprint 76)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kartawinata K, Adisoemarto S, Riswan S and Vayda AP (1981) The impact of man on a tropical forest in Indonesia. Ambio 10(2, 3): 115–119Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kellman MC (1969) Some environmental components of shifting agriculture in upland Mindanao. Journal of Trop Geography 38: 40–56Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Margolis M (1977) Historical perspectives on frontier agriculture as an adaptive strategy. American Ethnologist 4(1): 42–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Norgaard RB (1981) Sociosystem and ecosystem coevolution in the Amazon. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 8: 238–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nye DH and Greenland DJ (1960) The Soil under Shifting Cultivation. Harpenden. Commonwealth Agricultural BureauGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Parfitt R (1976) Shifting cultivation — how it affects the soil environment. Harvest 3(2): 63–67Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sabhasri S (1978) Effects of forest fallow cultivation on forest production and soil. In: Kundstadter P, Chapman EC and Sabhasri S, eds, Farmers in the Forest: Economic Development and Marginal Agriculture in Northern Thailand. Honoluli. University of Press of HawaiiGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sanchez PA (1976) Propeties and Management of Soils in the Tropics. New York. John Wiley & SonsGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Seubert CE, Sanchez PA and Valverde C (1977) Effects of land clearing methods on crop performance and changes in soil properires of an ultisol in the Amazon jungle of Peru. Tropical Agriculture (Trinidad) 54: 307–321Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Uhl C and Jordan CF (1984) Succession and nutrient dynamics following forest cutting and burning in Amazonia. Ecology 65(5): 1476–1490Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wood AW (1979) The effects of shifting cultivation on soil properties: an example from the Karinui and Bomai Plateux, Simbu Province, Papua New Guinea. PNG Agricultural Journal 30(.1–3)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zinke PJ, Sabhasri S and Kundstadter P (1978) Soil fertility aspects of the Lua's forest fallow system of shifting cultivation. In: Kundstadter P, Chapman EC and Sabhasri S, eds, Farmers in the Forest: Economic Development and Marginal Agriculture in Northern Thailand. Honolulu. University Press of HawaiiGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Fujisaka
    • 1
  • E. Wollenberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Social Sciences DivisionInternational Rice Research InstituteManilaPhilippines
  2. 2.Department of Forestry and Resource ManagementUniversity of California BerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations