Skip to main content

Agroforestry Systems as Alternative Land-Use Options in the Arid Zone of Thal, Pakistan

Abstract

Agroforestry offers unique opportunities for increasing biodiversity, preventing land degradation, and alleviating poverty, particularly in developing countries, but factors explaining the adoption by farmers are not well understood. A survey of 524 farm households was conducted in Bhakkar district of Punjab, Pakistan to study factors that determine the adoption of agroforestry on the sand dunes in the resource-deficient region of Thal. Two types of agroforestry systems were studied: intercropping and border cropping (also known as boundary or perimeter planting). Both agroforestry systems included irrigated cultivation of the timber trees Eucalyptus camaldulensis (local name: sufeda) and Tamarix aphylla (local name: sars) with wheat, chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) (local name: chana) or cluster beans (Cyamous tetragocalobe) (local name: guars). The majority of the farmers was in favour of intercropping and border cropping. Most farmers reported the protection of nearby crops from dust storms as the most important positive perception about both agroforestry systems. Age, education, and farm to market distance were significant determinants of agroforestry adoption. Older and less-educated farmers, with farms closer to markets were less likely to adopt tree planting or border cropping in Thal. In general, the agroforestry systems examined were more likely to be adopted by farmers who can wait 3–4 years for harvesting crop outputs, but not by poorer farmers who are totally dependent on subsistence agriculture and cannot afford the high initial cost of agroforestry establishment, nor can they wait for crop output for extended periods. Furthermore, the adoption of both agroforestry systems was more likely in remote marginal areas than in areas close to markets. To increase agroforestry adoption rates, government policies should strengthen farmers’ knowledge of every stage of agroforestry through extension services, focusing particularly among the prime prospects, i.e. farmers who will be most likely to adopt agroforestry. Once the prime prospects have adopted it, the older, less-educated, and poor farmers of the rural population can be also focused on to motivate adoption.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  • Adesina AA, Chianu J (2002) Determinants of farmers’ adoption and adaptation of alley farming technology in Nigeria. Agrofor Syst 55:99–112

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ahnström J, Höckert J, Bergea HL, Francis CA, Skelton P, Hallgren L (2009) Farmers and nature conservation: what is known about attitudes, context factors and actions affecting conservation? Renew Agric Food Syst 24:38–47

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ajayi OC, Franzel S, Kuntashula E, Kewesiga F (2003) Adoption of improved fallow technology for soil fertility management in Zambia: empirical studies and emerging issues. Agrofor Syst 59:317–326

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Amrouk EM, Poole N, Mudungwe N, Muzvondiwa E (2013) The impact of commodity development projects on smallholders’ market access in developing countries. FAO Commodity and Trade Policy Research Working Paper AQ290

  • Anim FDK (2011) Factors affecting rural household farm labour supply in farming communities of South Africa. J Hum Ecol 34:23–28

    Google Scholar 

  • Baig MB, Ahmad S, Khan N, Khurshid M (2008) Germplasm conservation of multipurpose trees and their role in agroforestry for sustainable agricultural production in Pakistan. Int J Agric Biol 10:340–348

    Google Scholar 

  • Brick K, Visser M (2015) Risk preferences, technology adoption and insurance uptake: a framed experiment. J Econ Behav Organ 118:383–396

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chao S (2012) Forest peoples: numbers across the world. Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), Gloucestershire, UK

  • Damalas CA, Hashemi SM (2010) Pesticide risk perception and use of personal protective equipment among young and old cotton growers in northern Greece. Agrociencia 44:363–371

    Google Scholar 

  • Dasti A, Agnew ADQ (1994) The vegetation of Cholistan and Thal deserts, Pakistan. J Arid Environ 27:193–208

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • De Brauw A, Eozenou P (2014) Measuring risk attitudes among Mozambican farmers. J Dev Econ 111:61–74

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dhakal A, Cockfield G, Maraseni TN (2015) Deriving an index of adoption rate and assessing factors affecting adoption of an agroforestry-based farming system in Dhanusha District, Nepal. Agrofor Syst 89:645–661

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Do Pompeu GSS, Rosa LS, Santos MM, Modesto RS, Vieira TA (2012) Adoption of agroforestry systems by smallholders in Brazilian Amazon. Trop Subtrop Agroecosyst 15:165–172

    Google Scholar 

  • Dolnicar S, Grün B (2007) How constrained a response: a comparison of binary, ordinal and metric answer formats. J Retail Consum Serv 14:108–122

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Donkor E, Owusu V (2014) Examining the socioeconomic determinants of rice farmer’s choice of land tenure systems in the upper east region of Ghana. J Agric Technol 10:505–515

    Google Scholar 

  • Douthwaite B, Manyong VM, Keatinge JDH, Chianu J (2002) The adoption of alley farming and Mucuna: lessons for research, development and extension. Agrofor Syst 56:193–202

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Garrity D (2006) Science-based agroforestry and the achievement of the millennium development goals. In: Garrity D, Okono A, Grayson M, Parrott S (eds) World agroforestry into the future. World Agroforestry Centre, ICRAF, Nairobi

    Google Scholar 

  • Gibreel TM (2013) Crop commercialization and adoption of gum-arabic agroforestry and their effect on farming system in western Sudan. Agrofor Syst 87:311–318

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Government of Pakistan (2013) Economic survey of Pakistan. Ministry of Finance, Islamabad

    Google Scholar 

  • Greiner R, Patterson L, Miller O (2009) Motivations, risk perceptions and adoption of conservation practices by farmers. Agric Syst 99:86–104

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hasan L (2007) An anatomy of state failures in forest management in Pakistan. Pak Dev Rev 46:1189–1203

    Google Scholar 

  • Hashemi SM, Rostami R, Hashemi MK, Damalas CA (2012) Pesticide use and risk perceptions among farmers in southwest Iran. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 18:456–470

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hazell P, Anderson J, Balzer N, Clemmensen A, Hess U, Rispoli F (2010) Potential for scale and sustainability in weather index insurance for agriculture and rural livelihoods. International Fund for Agricultural Development and World Food Programme, Rome

    Google Scholar 

  • Irshad M, Khan A, Inoue M, Ashraf M, Sher H (2011) Identifying factors affecting agroforestry system in Swat, Pakistan. Afr J Agric Res 6:2586–2593

    Google Scholar 

  • Jerneck A, Olsson L (2014) Food first! Theorising assets and actors in agroforestry: risk evaders, opportunity seekers and ‘the food imperative’ in sub-Saharan Africa. Int J Agric Sustain 12:1–22

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krause M, Uibrig H, Kidane B (2007) Decision modelling for the integration of woody plants in smallholder farms in the central highlands of Ethiopia. J Agric Rural Dev Trop Subtrop 108:1–17

    Google Scholar 

  • Meijer SS, Catacutan D, Ajayi OC, Sileshi GW, Nieuwenhuis M (2015) The role of knowledge, attitudes and perceptions in the uptake of agricultural and agroforestry innovations among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Int J Agric Sustain 13:40–54

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mercer D (2004) Adoption of agroforestry innovations in the tropics: a review. Agrofor Syst 61:311–328

    Google Scholar 

  • Montambault JR, Alavalapati JRR (2005) Socioeconomic research in agroforestry: a decade in review. Agrofor Syst 65:151–161

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morin RA, Suarez AF (1983) Risk aversion revisited. J Finance 38:1201–1216

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ndayambaje JD, Heijman WJM, Mohren GMJ (2012) Household determinants of tree planting on farms in rural Rwanda. Small Scale For 11:1–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Norman GR, Streiner DL (2008) Biostatistics: the bare of essentials, 3rd edn. BC Decker Inc, Ontario

    Google Scholar 

  • Nouman W, Khan GS, Farooq H, Jamal N (2006) An investigation to find out the reasons for adoption of agroforestry by farmers in district Faisalabad. J Anim Plant Sci 16:93–95

    Google Scholar 

  • Osborne J (2014) Best practices in logistic regression. SAGE Publications Inc, California

    Google Scholar 

  • Pampel FC (2000) Logistic regression: a primer. Series: quantitative applications in the social sciences, vol 132. Sage Publications, California

    Google Scholar 

  • Pannell DJ (2003) Uncertainty and adoption of sustainable farming systems. In: Babcock BA, Fraser RW, Lekakis JN (eds) Risk management and the environment: agriculture in perspective. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 67–81

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Pannell D, Marshall GR, Bar N, Curtis A, Vanclay F, Wilkinson R (2006) Understanding and promoting adoption of conservation practices by rural landholders. Aust J Exp Agric 46:1407–1424

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Radolph KA, Myers LL (2013) Basic statistics in multivariate analysis. Oxford University Press, New York

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Rahim SMA, Hasnain S (2010) Agroforestry trends in Punjab, Pakistan. Afr J Environ Sci Technol 4:639–650

    Google Scholar 

  • Rahman F, Haq F, Tabassum I, Ullah I (2014) Socio-economic drivers of deforestation in Roghani Valley, Hindu-Raj Mountains, Northern Pakistan. J Mt Sci 11:167–179

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Roe BE (2015) The risk attitudes of U.S. farmers. Appl Econ Perspect Policy Adv 37:553–574

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shah NA, Aujla KM, Abbas M, Mahmood K (2007) Economics of chickpea production in the Thal Desert of Pakistan. Pak J Life Soc Sci 5:6–10

    Google Scholar 

  • Swallow BM, Kallesoe MF, Iftikhar UA, Van Noordwijk M, Bracer C, Scherr SJ, Raju KV, Poats SV, Duraiappah AK, Ochieng BO, Mallee H, Rumley R (2009) Compensation and rewards for environmental services in the developing world: framing pan-tropical analysis and comparison. Ecol Soc 14:26

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thangata PH, Alavalapati JRR (2003) Agroforestry adoption in southern Malawi: the case of mixed intercropping of Gliricidia sepium and maize. Agric Syst 78:57–71

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zerihun MF, Muchie M, Worku Z (2014) Determinants of agro-forestry technology adoption in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Dev Stud Res 1:382–394

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christos A. Damalas.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Ethics

Participants were fully briefed, verbally, in their own language, on the nature and purpose of the research. Verbal consent to participate was obtained without pressure.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Khan, M., Mahmood, H.Z., Abbas, G. et al. Agroforestry Systems as Alternative Land-Use Options in the Arid Zone of Thal, Pakistan. Small-scale Forestry 16, 553–569 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11842-017-9372-3

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11842-017-9372-3

Keywords

  • Border cropping
  • Farmers’ perceptions
  • Sand dunes
  • Tree planting