Evolution of agroforestry based farming systems: a study of Dhanusha District, Nepal

Dhakal, Arun and Cockfield, Geoff and Maraseni, Tek Narayan (2012) Evolution of agroforestry based farming systems: a study of Dhanusha District, Nepal. Agroforestry Systems, 86 (1). pp. 17-33. ISSN 0167-4366


This paper examines how agroforestrybased farming systems evolved in the Dhanusha district of Nepal following the conversion of forest into agriculture during the early 1950s. Some data are from two focus group discussions with agroforestry farmers and one meeting with agroforestry experts. The farmers' discussion traced the development of farming practices from 1950 to 2010 to identify the drivers of land use change. The experts' discussion resulted in a scale to differentiate the prevailing farming systems in the study area considering five key components of agroforestry: agricultural crops, livestock, forest tree
crops, fruit tree crops and vegetable crops. Data related
to the system components were collected from the randomly selected households. The study reveals that land use had generally changed from very simple agriculture to agroforestry, triggered by infrastructure development, technological innovations, institutional support (subsidies and buy-back guarantees) and extension programs. A range of farming systems with varying degrees of integration was evident in the study area: simple agriculture; less integrated agroforestry; semi-integrated agroforestry and highly integrated agroforestry. The three types of agroforestry systems, which are the focus of this study, varied significantly in terms of farm size, cropping intensity, use of farm inputs, tree species diversity, tree density, home to forest distance and agricultural labour force.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - No Department
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2013 10:29
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2014 05:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: agroforestry based farming; evolution; tree preference; farm characteristics; Nepal
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070107 Farming Systems Research
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0705 Forestry Sciences > 070501 Agroforestry
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s10457-012-9504-x
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/21014

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