Improving adoptability of farm forestry in the Philippine uplands: a linear programming model
Article Received: 17 November 2004 Accepted: 16 January 2006 Abstract
In the Philippines, smallholder farmers have become major timber producers. But the systems of timber production practiced have several limitations. In intercropping systems, the practice of severe branch and/or root pruning reduces tree-crop competition and increases annual crop yields, but is detrimental to tree growth and incompatible with commercial timber production. In even-aged woodlots, lack of regular income and poor tree growth, resulting from farmers’ reluctance to thin their plantations, are major constraints to adoption and profitable tree farming. In the municipality of Claveria, Misamis Oriental, the recent practice of planting trees on widely spaced (6–8 m) contour grass strips established for soil conservation suggests ways to improve the adoptability (i.e., profitability, feasibility and acceptability) of timber-based agroforestry systems. Assuming that financial benefits are the main objective of timber tree farmers, we develop a simple linear programming (LP) model for the optimal allocation of land to monocropping and tree intercropping that maximizes the net present value of an infinite number of rotations and satisfies farmers’ resource constraints and regular income requirements. The application of the LP model to an average farmer in Claveria showed that cumulative additions of widely spaced tree hedgerows provides higher returns to land, and reduce the risk of agroforestry adoption by spreading over the years labour and capital investment costs and the economic benefits accruing to farmers from trees. Therefore, incremental planting of widely spaced tree hedgerows can make farm forestry more adoptable and thus benefit a larger number of resource-constrained farmers in their evolution towards more diverse and productive agroforestry systems.
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