Methodology for Comparative Analysis of Sustainability in Agroforestry Systems

Methodology for Comparative Analysis of Sustainability in Agroforestry Systems


This paper analyses different forms of agroforestry systems, including political and institutional linkages in the Caí and Taquari river valleys of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul in an effort to determine their sustainability.

Research Goals & Methods

Sustainability indicators were created and used to create a Sustainability Index (SI) examining each of the agroforestry systems. The agroforestry systems being examined include mixtures of Acacia and Eucalyptus, subsistence cultivation, watermelon production, cattle, citrus, native tree species and yerba mate. The indicators relate to technical, productivity, economic, environmental and organizational variables, and were combined to evaluate overall performance of each type of system.

Conclusions & Takeaways

The agroforestry system that combines exotic forest species with watermelon and the system that combines native forest species with citrus fruit proved the most sustainable. The methodology used permitted differentiation between the different agroforestry systems being studied agroforestry and helped to identify’strong and weak points, clarify the relationship between Sustainability Indexes, institutional arrangement, and technological format, and allowed comparison of different systems and institutional arrangements.



Lopes SBarbosa, Almeida J. Methodology for comparative analysis of sustainability in agroforestry systems. Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural. 2003;41:183–208. doi:10.1590/s0103-20032003000100005.


  • Rio Grande do Sul Zoo Botanic Foundation
  • Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil