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Livelihood Improvements Through Agroforestry: Evidence from Northern Bangladesh

Abstract

Agroforestry is one of the most sustainable land management systems practiced around the world due to the socioeconomic benefits that it brings to farmers. In Bangladesh, farmers practice agroforestry, applying indigenous knowledge. The present study was designed to identify the present status, management practices and its role in improving the livelihoods of farmers in northern Bangladesh. Data for the study were collected through quantitative and qualitative methods. A total of 29 tree and 38 agricultural crop species were planted by the102 farmers interviewed. Mangifera indica (relative prevalence 49%) is the most predominant species, followed by Eucalyptus camaldulensis (relative prevalence 35.4%). Farmers of northern Bangladesh plant trees in cropland for fruits (90%), fuel wood (87%) and timber production (79%). Fruit trees were planted with wider spacing while forest and fuel wood species were planted with narrower spacing. Farmer’s livelihoods improved enormously by practicing agroforestry as they have more access to food, fodder and fuel wood which is reflected by greater access to livelihood capitals (except social capital). However, farmers have experienced increased incidences of pests and diseases to the annual crops and trees. Agroforestry practices increases species diversity, ensure economic return and sustain farmer’s livelihoods.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wishes to thank the farmers of the Thakurgaon district for their cordial participation during data collection.

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Correspondence to Md. Abu Hanif.

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Hanif, M.A., Roy, R.M., Bari, M.S. et al. Livelihood Improvements Through Agroforestry: Evidence from Northern Bangladesh. Small-scale Forestry 17, 505–522 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11842-018-9400-y

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Keywords

  • Agroforestry
  • Species composition
  • Management practices
  • Livelihood improvement
  • DFID sustainable livelihood framework
  • Bangladesh