Monday, November 9, 2015

Criteria for an Agroforestry System

By Anton Antonio
November 10, 2015

 “Agroforestry is a technical discipline whose main concern is to develop sustainable production systems.  It answers such questions as what crops/livestock combination to raise, or how soil and water can be conserved.  An agroforestry technology can be used not only by upland farmers but also by private individuals and corporations who want to develop upland areas.  Agroforestry is the primary technical support of social forestry since the main clientele of the latter are upland farmers.  This is because agroforestry is the most suitable farming technology for upland areas (Lasco, 1999).”

In an ideal agroforestry system the following criteria must be met:

PRODUCTIVITY – Agroforestry should increase production of desired commodities.  It should also increase productivity of the land.  Crops and technologies should therefore be properly combined to achieve optimum product-output mix and to improve the farmers’ income and living conditions.  To be productive, a system must yield high outputs, reduce inputs abd increase labor efficiency.

SUSTAINABILITY – Agroforestry systems should provide benefits through time without compromising the needs of future generations by conserving the productive potential of the resource base.  Fertility of the land can be maintained and conserved by employing soil and water conservation strategies.  Here again, consider the three components of sustainability… therefore, ecological, social, and economic.

ADAPTABILITY – This means acceptability.  To be acceptable it should be compatible to the culture of the farmers.  Sociocultural norms and traditions, beliefs and customs ahould be considered in introducing an agroforestry system.

Upland development programs and projects largely depend on certain criteria for them to be successful.  In agroforestry, productivity, sustainability and adaptability have the same function.  They are the success parameters and criteria for an agroforestry system.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Antonio, A. C., (2015). “Agroforestry: Concepts and Definitions”. Retrieved on November 10, 2015 from

Villanueva, T. R., (2005). “Upland Ecosystem Management”. University of the Philippines Open University, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines

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