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close this bookAbstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ; 1992; 423 pages)
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts On Traditional Land-Use Systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on farming systems research and development
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on integrated systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on cropping system
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agroecology
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close this folderAbstracts on agroforestry
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the document1. Tree products in agroecosystems: economic and policy issues.
View the document2. Sustainable use of plantation forestry in the lowland tropics.
View the document3. The palcazu project: forest management and native yanesha communities.
View the document4. Opportunities and constraints for sustainable tropical forestry: lessons from the plan piloto forestal, quintana roo, Mexico.
View the document5. The taungya system in south-west Ghana.
View the document6. Planning for agroforestry.
View the document7. Sowing forests from the air.
View the document8. Agroforestry pathways: land tenure, shifting cultivation and sustainable agriculture.
View the document9. Food, coffee and casuarina: an agroforestry system from the Papua New Guinea highlands.
View the document10. Agroforestry in africa's humid tropics - three success stories.
View the document11. Agroforestry and biomass energy/fuelwood production.
View the document12. Regeneration of woody legumes in Sahel.
View the document13. Medicines from the forest.
View the document14. Potential for protein production from tree and shrub legumes.
View the document15. Agroforestry for sustainable production; economic implications.
View the document16. Living fences. A close-up look at an agroforestry technology.
View the document17. Homestead agroforestry in Bangladesh.
View the document18. Guidelines for training in rapid appraisal for agroforestry research and extension.
View the document19. Erythrina (leguminosae: papilionoideae): a versatile genus for agroforestry systems in the tropics.
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on homegardens
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on seed production
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on plant protection
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on water management
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on soil fertility
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on erosion and desertification control
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on potential crops for marginal lands
 

5. The taungya system in south-west Ghana.

In: FAO Soils Bulletin No. 53, 1984, pp. 183-185

This study uses a rather narrow definition of intercropping agricultural and forestry crops without regard to who owns the agricultural crop, so as to bring out variations. It also sees the Tropical High Forest Zone in the country as covering South-West Ghana.

The taungya system, as it was developed in Burma, involves peasant farmers in afforestation or reforestation. This system interplants trees with agricultural crops, particularly the local population's staple foods, and so serves to satisfy the farmer's quest for arable land.

This type of forest reaches the coastline for approximately a quarter of its length and thereafter is separated from it by a belt of mangrove, scrub and coastal savanna formations, which fan out from west to east.

The zone is characterized by uniformly high temperatures, a rainfall regime with two peaks, mean annual precipitation ranging from 2135-3000 mm in the southwest to 1250-1375 mm in the northeast, and a high relative humidity. The humid environment maintained by the forest cover enables the cultivation of such cash crops as cocoa, oil palm, rubber and kola nuts. Cocoa and timber are the two major export commodities.

The taungya system was introduced with two objectives: to establish plantations of fast-growing, useful timber species and, second, to meet the peasant farmer's demands for arable land, using forest reserves where land was genuinely needed.

The size of the forest land allocated annually depended on the demand and the ability of the Forestry Department to cope with it. The latter was largely determined by the stock available. On a few occasions, farmers were asked to raise seedlings themselves.

In exchange for this privilege, farmers were asked to assist in establishing the plantation by preparing the site. They provided pegs, tended the planted tree crop alongside other food crops and also were governed by restrictions as to choice of species and spacing imposed by the Forestry Department. Farmers continued to receive allocations only if they adhered to these conditions.

Peasant farmers were generally pleased. These allocations gave them the opportunity to raise crops on relatively fertile forest land, increasing crop yields and improving the standard of living. Preparing sites in the Tropical High Forest is the most expensive operation in plantation establishment. The farmer did not reap the full benefit of this investment, but this did not concern him unduly. He had no opportunity cost for his labour and in so far as he could handle the work, involving his family, all his produce was profit. He expressed his gratitude to the forester by adhering to the rules, and generally becoming increasingly cooperative.

The large-scale reforestation scheme gave rise to yet another type of farmer, the big time city dweller, who used hired labour to cultivate food crops on the plantation sites.

The Forestry Department felled big trees and allocated plots to these "entrepreneur farmers" for a fee. The system resulted in a number of powerful farmers too difficult to control and consequently it failed.

The poor peasant farmer was excluded from these areas.

The advantages of the taungya system is that the forester may be able to raise a tree crop at a lower cost, and at the same time increase food production. The farmer always has the advantage of being able to use land which has been kept fertile under a forest cover.

1166 92 - 7/80

Agroforestry

Latin America, Africa, review, book, field experience, agroforestry approaches, agroforestry planning methods

BUDD, W.D. et al.

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