See more from this Session: General International Agronomy: II
Wednesday, November 3, 2010: 1:20 PM
Long Beach Convention Center, Room 302, Seaside Level
Agroforestry interventions in resource-poor farming settings have had mixed success. In the Monze district of southern Zambia we observed a bimodal age distribution of Faidherbia albida, yet an absence of active planting effort. We applied holon agroecology analysis to understand farmer intentions and contexts surrounding the tree, with the ultimate goal of deciding on what related interventions might contribute to more resilient smallholder livelihoods. We believe that the bimodal age distribution of trees is the result of an evolving information context, in which for a time good weed management included removing F. albida seedlings along with other non-crop species. More recent research and extension makes the case for encouraging the tree, and this idea was readily adopted because of a long-standing appreciation of the species, including injunctions against cutting mature specimens. Encouraging propagation of it in nurseries has not succeeded, however, perhaps because the majority of the requisite labor will fall to women and they do not perceive direct benefit from more F. albida on the landscape. The holon agroecology framework highlights how evolving contexts and un-unified intentions amongst household members can impact success of agricultural interventions.