Agroforestry Adoption in Haiti: The Importance of Household and Farm Characteristics
During the last century, the forest cover of Haiti has decreased from 8-10% of total land area to under 2%. This has serious implications for a nation with rapid population growth, 70% of the population living in rural areas, and 63% of the land is steeply sloping. Intensive agriculture on steeply sloping lands without tree cover could lead to topsoil and fertility losses. To combat this problem, the government implemented a USAID-funded agroforestry program to encourage reforestation strategies such as hedgerows, tree seedlings, and top grafting on smallholder farms.
research goals & methods
A study was conducted across rural Haiti using a questionnaire-based survey to interview smallholder participants in the agroforestry project funded by USAID. The survey asked about 1) household characteristics (age, education, gender, immigration status, etc) and 2) farm field characteristics (slope, distance from home, soil fertility, etc).
conclusions & takeaways
This study makes a case for the need of basic understanding of how smallholder farmers value and care for trees, and their decision-making process in choosing agroforestry techniques.
General results indicated that household characteristics influenced the degree to which participants used the tree grafting strategy, the density of trees found in their field, and the amount of money they made from tree products. Those who grafted tended to be wealthier, while farmers with less secured tenure were more likely to implement hedgerow systems. The study concludes that a better understanding of farmer value systems and decision-making can lead to more effectively targeted restoration projects.
Agroforestry adoption in Haiti: the importance of household and farm characteristics. Agroforestry Systems. 2003;57:149–157. doi:10.1023/a:1023973623247..
- Center for Subtropical Agroforestry, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida