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Barriers and coping mechanisms relating to agroforestry adoption by smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe

Chitakira M., Torquebiau E.. 2010. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 16 (2) : p. 147-160.

DOI: 10.1080/13892241003651407

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate agroforestry adoption by smallholder farmers in Gutu District, Zimbabwe. Design/Methodology/Approach: The methodology was based on field data collected through household questionnaires, key informant interviews and direct observations. Findings:Major findings reveal that traditional agroforestry was common in the study area. There were no cases of innovative agroforestry other than dwindling remnants from a former trees-withpasture project. Majority of respondents were willing to adopt innovative agroforestry technologies to improve yields and income. Damage and destruction of plants by pests and animals due to lack of fences emerged as the major challenges to the adoption of agroforestry. Other challenges included seed availability and labour requirements. Possible coping strategies, identified through consulting farmers and other stakeholders, would include local initiatives and support from outside the community. Local and external efforts are required especially to secure inputs and raise awareness, knowledge and skills with respect to specific agroforestry technologies. Practical Implications: The paper presents pointers on the involvement of women in agroforestry and on the cultural significance of indigenous and exotic fruit trees. It provides practical lessons useful to extension or rural development workers in a localised set-up. Originality/Value: The case study gives an insight into the problems faced by peasant farmers and the requirements to make agroforestry successful. Practitioners in southern Africa could learn a great deal about issues relating to smallholder farmers from reading this paper. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : petite exploitation agricole; adoption de l'innovation; agroforesterie; zimbabwe

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