Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1–15 | Cite as

Agroforestry, attitude towards risk and nutrient availability: a case study of south Indian farming systems

  • S. C. Babu
  • B. Rajasekaran


Introduction of two systems of agroforestry to the farmers portfolio is evaluated for their changes in cropping pattern, input use, income generation, farmers attitude towards risk and nutrient availability. Two different types of farmers are studied under both irrigated and dryland farming systems. Farm survey data collected from south Indian villages have been used with a mean-variance framework to identify the risk aversion levels of farmers. The results indicate that the risk-taking preferences of farmers should be given consideration in evaluating the impact of agroforestry systems. Among the two agroforestry systems analyzed, the one with drumstick is shown to increase the risk of crop production while the one with leucaena reduces the risk and enables farmers to invest in more risky cash crops. The impact of agroforestry on crop allocation, input use and income differs due to the differences in resource availability of farmers. The influence of agroforestry on nutrient availability of the farm households also differs based on the components of agroforestry, orientation of farming and the nature of farming systems. It is argued that design of agroforestry systems should consider differences in resource constraints in farming systems and risk attitudes of farmers towards their allocation decisions and that such considerations would largely enhance the successful adoption of agroforestry in developing countries.

Key words

mathematical programming portfolio theory quadratic programming mean-variance analysis risk attitudes nutritional availability economics farming systems south India 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. C. Babu
    • 1
  • B. Rajasekaran
    • 2
  1. 1.Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy ProgramCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Centre for Indigenous Knowledge in Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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