Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 23–44 | Cite as

Planning technical interventions in agroforestry projects

  • Eva U. Müller
  • Sara J. Scherr


In agroforestry projects careful planning and design of technologies is necessary because of the complex nature of agroforestry and the lack of proven technology ‘packages’. To identify appropriate methodologies, ICRAF conducted in 1988/89 a review of agroforestry technology monitoring and evaluation in 165 projects worldwide. Approximately half of the projects that responded to the review had carried out technology planning and design activities. The spectrum of information needs, which includes needs assessment, biophysical site description, agroforestry opportunities and existing information was inadequately covered by most projects. Statistically designed and questionnaire-based farmer surveys were favoured by projects although a range of more appropriate approaches and methods for technology planning and design exists. A planning approach is suggested that includes a pilot phase during which initial technology designs are developed and tested with farmers. Projects are encouraged to use more cost-effective, non-statistical methods. The authors recommend improvements to technology planning/design methods and identify training needs for project managers and extension staff.

Key words

Monitoring and evaluation agroforestry projects project planning surveys rapid appraisal diagnosis and design 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abel NOJ, Drinkwater MJ, Ingram J, Okafor J and Prinsley RT (1989) Guidelines for training in rapid appraisal for agroforestry research and extension. East Anglia, UK: Commonwealth Science Council and Forestry Commission, Zimbabwe, 117 pGoogle Scholar
  2. Abel NOJ and Prinsley RT eds (1988) Rapid appraisal for agroforestry research and extension. Proceedings and recommendations of a workshop, Gweru, Zimbabwe, 12–14 April 1988. London, UK: Commonwealth Science Council, 89 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Atta-Krah AN (1984) Fodder intervention in the farming system of southeastern Nigeria. Ibadan, Nigeria: ILCA, 10 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Buck L (1989a) Planning agroforestry projects: a case study from the CARE International in Kenya Agroforestry Extension Project. Paper presented at the Planning for Agroforestry Symposium, Washington State University, 24–27 April, Pullman, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  5. Buck L (1989b) Agroforestry Extension Training Sourcebook. New York: CARE InternationalGoogle Scholar
  6. Budd W and Hardesty L eds. Planning Agroforestry Projects. The Netherlands: Elsevier Science Publishing Company (in press)Google Scholar
  7. Chambers R (1987) Shortcut methods in social information gathering for rural development projects. In: Proceedings of the 1985 International Conference on Rapid Rural Appraisal. Khon Kaen, Thailand: Rural Systems Research and Farming Systems Research Projects, pp 33–46Google Scholar
  8. Chambers R, Pacey A and Thrupp LA (Eds) 1989. Farmer First: Farmer Innovation and Agricultural Research. London: Intermediate Technology Publications, 218 ppGoogle Scholar
  9. Chavangi NA, Engelhard RJ and Jones V (1985) Culture as a basis for implementing self-sustaining development programmes. Nairobi, Kenya: KWDP, 25 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. Collinson MP (1981) The explanatory survey: content, methods and detailed guidelines for discussions with farmers. In: CIMMYT Eastern Africa Economics Programme Farming Systems Newsletter. April–June. Nairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  11. Conway GR (1986) Agroecosystem Analysis for Research and Development. Bangkok, Thailand: Winrock International, 111 ppGoogle Scholar
  12. Conway GR and McCracken JA (1987) Rapid rural appraisal and agroecosystem analysis. London: IIED, 35 ppGoogle Scholar
  13. Duchart I, Steiner F and Bassman JH (1989) Planning methods for agroforestry. Agroforestry Systems 7: 227–258Google Scholar
  14. FAO (1976) A framework for land evaluation. FAO Soil Bulletin 32. Rome: FAO, 72 ppGoogle Scholar
  15. Fisher RJ (1988) Confusing numbers with facts: a note of caution about the results of quantitative survey questionnaires. Proceedings of the Second Meeting of the Working Group on Fodder Trees, Forest Fodder and Leaf Litter, 6–7 December, Kathmandu, Nepal, pp 16–18Google Scholar
  16. Gibson DC and Müller EU (1987) Diagnostic survey and management information systems in agroforestry project implementation: a case study from Rwanda. Working Paper No. 49. Nairobi, Kenya: ICRAF, 81 ppGoogle Scholar
  17. Hildebrand PE (1981) Combining disciplines in rapid appraisal: the Sondeo approach. Agricultural Administration 8: 423–432Google Scholar
  18. Huxley PA, Rocheleau D and Wood PJ (1985) Farming systems and agroforestry research in northern Zambia: Phase I Report. Diagnosis of land use problems and research indications. Nairobi, Kenya: ICRAFGoogle Scholar
  19. ICRAF (1983) Resources for agroforestry diagnosis and design: a handbook of useful tools and materials. Working paper No 7. Nairobi, Kenya: ICRAF, 383 ppGoogle Scholar
  20. Kwesiga F and kamau IN eds (1988) Agroforestry potential in the unimodal upland plateau of Zambia. AFRENA Report No. 7. Nairobi, Kenya: ICRAF, 115 ppGoogle Scholar
  21. Lagemann J and Heuveldop J (1982) Characterization and evaluation of agroforestry systems: the case of Acousta Puriscal, Costa Rica. Turrialba, Costa Rice: CATIE, 19 ppGoogle Scholar
  22. Müller EU and Scherr SJ (1989) Technology monitoring and evaluation in agroforestry projects: an annotated bibliography. Nairobi, Kenya: ICRAF, 191 ppGoogle Scholar
  23. Oberholzer E (1984) Characterization of the traditional agroforestry system in Palpa District: The study of Kokal and Gofek. Palpa, Nepal: Tinau Watershed Project, 43 ppGoogle Scholar
  24. Raintree JB (1987a) D&D user's manual: an introduction to agroforestry diagnosis and design. Nairobi, Kenya: ICRAF, 110 ppGoogle Scholar
  25. Raintree JB (1987b) The state of the art of agroforestry diagnosis and design. Agroforestry System 5(3): 219–250Google Scholar
  26. Raintree JB and Torres F (1984) Agroforestry systems for smallholder upland farmers in a landreform area of the Philippines: the Tabango case study. Working Paper 18. Nairobi, Kenya: ICRAFGoogle Scholar
  27. Rhoades RE (1982) The art of the informal agricultural survey. Training Document 1982–2. Lima, Peru: Social Science Department, International Potato CenterGoogle Scholar
  28. Rocheleau DE, Weber F and Field-Juma A (1988) Agroforestry in Dryland Africa. Nairobi, Kenya: ICRAF, 311 ppGoogle Scholar
  29. Scherr SJ (1989) The ‘Diagnosis and Design’ approach to agroforestry project planning and implementation: examples from western Kenya. Paper presented at the Planning for Agroforestry Symposium, Washington State University, 24–27 April, Pullman, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  30. Scherr SJ Müller EU (1989) Technology monitoring and evaluation. What takes place in agroforestry research and extension projects? Agroforestry Today 1(4), pp 8–14Google Scholar
  31. Scoones I (1988) Community management of Indigenous Woodland Project: Zvishavane and Chivi Districts. Harare, Zimbabwe: ENDA, 59 ppGoogle Scholar
  32. Segleau J and Mora Fernandez F (1987) CATIE/DGF/GTZ Agroforestry Research Project in Talamanca: summary results of a survey with farmers in Talamanca. San José, Costa Rica: Dirección General Forestal (unpublished draft), 27 ppGoogle Scholar
  33. Stummheit P, Topitach H and Hebeenzu S (1988) Evaluation of a soil conservation and agroforestry needs assessment study conducted in Mayabuka District of Zambia. Lusaka, Zambia: Department of Agriculture, 31 ppGoogle Scholar
  34. Van Gelder B and Kerkhof P (1984) The agroforestry survey in Kakamega District: final report. Working Paper No. 6. Nairobi, Kenya: KWDP, 37 ppGoogle Scholar
  35. Young A (1986) Land evaluation and agroforestry diagnosis and design: towards a reconcilation of procedures. Soil Survey and Land Evaluation 5: 61–76Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva U. Müller
    • 1
  • Sara J. Scherr
    • 1
  1. 1.ICRAFNairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations