Sustainable agricultural intensification: the role of cardamom agroforestry in the East Usambaras, Tanzania uri icon

abstract

  • The East Usambaras in Tanzania are a tropical biodiversity hotspot where current agricultural management practices pose threats to forest conservation and development objectives. Promoting sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI) would improve long-term productivity and reduce pressure on forest reserves. The study objective was to identify household-level characteristics that influence adoption of improved management practices, specifically soil replenishment practices, in order to identify opportunities and constraints to scaling up SAI to landscape level. First, three common farming systems and a fourth agroforestry (AF) model were developed to estimate the relative profitability of incorporating fallow, manure, and non-timber forest product activities. Next, household surveys were conducted and a logistic regression analysis was used to measure the influence of socioeconomic characteristics, physical and financial assets, tenure security, and plot- specific attributes on adoption of soil replenishment practices that were specified in the model. Findings showed that the AF model was financially competitive but raises opportunity costs to labour when compared to common systems. Marital status, household size, remittances, credit access, and tenure security significantly influenced adoption of fallow and applying organic inputs. Significant plot-specific attributes included perceived fertility and distance from the homestead. Policies to scale up SAI should consider these factors and emphasize improving markets for AF species and extension services

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014