Adaptation factors and futures of agroforestry systems in Nepal

  • Edwin Cedamon
  • Ian Nuberg
  • Bishnu H. Pandit
  • Krishna K. Shrestha


Farmers in Nepal mid-hills have practiced agroforestry for generations as main source or supplement of timber, firewood and fodder from government forests. The nature and extent of agroforestry practice is being challenged by rapid social and economic change particularly in the recent rise of labour out-migration and remittance income. Understanding is required of the critical factors that influence farmers in the way they adapt agroforestry to their circumstances. This paper analyses the relationship of households’ livelihood resources and agroforestry practice to identify trajectories of agroforestry adaptation to improve livelihood outcomes. Using data from a survey of 668 households, it was found that landholding, livestock holding and geographic location of farmers are key drivers for agroforestry adaptation. A multinomial logistic regression model showed that in addition to these variables, household income, household-remittance situation (whether the household is receiving remittance or not) and caste influence adaptation of agroforestry practice. The analysis indicates that resource-poor households are more likely to adapt to terraced-based agroforestry while resource-rich households adapt to woodlot agroforestry. Appropriate agroforestry interventions are: (1) develop simple silvicultural regimes to improve the quality and productivity of naturally-regenerating timber on under-utilised land; (2) develop a suite of tree and groundcover species that can be readily integrated within existing terrace-riser agroforestry practices; (3) acknowledge the different livelihood capitals of resource-poor and resource-rich groups and promote terrace-riser and woodlot agroforestry systems respectively to these groups; and (4) develop high-value fodder production systems on terrace-riser agroforestry, and also for non-arable land. The analysis generates important insights for improving agroforestry policies and practices in Nepal and in many developing countries.


Farming system Planted trees Woodlots Livelihood assets Multinomial logistic regression Remittance economy 



This research was funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) as project FST/2011/076 and the following organisations were involved in the design and implementation of the survey reported: The University of Adelaide (Australia), The University of New South Wales (Australia), World Agroforestry Centre (Indonesia), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Nepal, Forest Action Nepal, Nepal Agroforestry Foundation, SEARCH-Nepal, Institute of Forestry Pokhara-Tribhuvan University Nepal.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin Cedamon
    • 1
  • Ian Nuberg
    • 1
  • Bishnu H. Pandit
    • 2
  • Krishna K. Shrestha
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Agriculture, Food and WineThe University of Adelaide,Waite CampusUrrbraeAustralia
  2. 2.Nepal Agroforestry FoundationKathmanduNepal
  3. 3.School of Social SciencesUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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