On-Farm Agroforestry Research

  • Alain Atangana
  • Damase Khasa
  • Scott Chang
  • Ann Degrande


Agroforestry research aims to develop new practices or technologies and facilitate their adoption by farmers. Research on farms is done to address adoption issues, by allowing farmers to evaluate or adapt the technology being researched or tested in local conditions. On-farm research, which involves the participation of farmers in the technology generation process, is often used, depending on the objectives of the research, the nature of the questions being investigated, and local conditions, when conducting participatory farming systems, “farmer first”, or “augmented designs” research. Participatory farming systems research is the generation of technologies by involving technology users in the planning and evaluation process. Farmer first research is when farmers conduct the experimentation and analysis on agricultural innovation themselves, with facilitation and support from scientists. Lastly, augmented designs research involves experimental designs that take into account the participation of farmers, thereby allowing the estimation of farmer-augmented defined treatments. Wider dissemination of agroforestry technologies has been largely done through scaling-up approaches, some of which have facilitated the widespread adoption of fodder shrubs among smallholders in the highlands of Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania. Techniques that have been successfully used include: (i) the collaboration of researchers with large Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) that promote fodder shrubs; (ii) large scale dissemination of facilitators who train trainers and provide support to extension workers; (iii) farmer-to-farmer dissemination; (iv) private seed vendors; and (v) civil society campaigns bringing together different stakeholders to train farmers by farmers. In the humid tropics of West and Central Africa, grassroots organizations were also effective in disseminating agroforestry innovations.


Agroforestry System Agroforestry Research Agroforestry Adoption Agroforestry Technology Farming System Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain Atangana
    • 1
    • 2
  • Damase Khasa
    • 3
  • Scott Chang
    • 1
  • Ann Degrande
    • 4
  1. 1.Renewable ResourcesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Institute of Integrative and Systems BiologyUniversité LavalQuebecCanada
  3. 3.Forest and Wood SciencesUniversité LavalQuebecCanada
  4. 4.West and Central Africa Regional ProgramWorld Agroforestry CentreYaoundeCameroon

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