7. Appropriate land use systems for shifting cultivators.
Schriftenreihe des FB 15 der TU Berlin, Nr. 138, 1991, pp. 99 +
This report is the result of a three-month mission carried out by a research team from the Centre for Advanced Training in Agricultural Development (CATAD), The Technical University of Berlin.
The research was conducted at the request of and in close cooperation with the Malaysian-German Forestry Research Project (MGFRP) especially with its Sabah complement in Sandakan.
This study was carried out under the Sabah component of the Malaysian German Forestry Research Project through the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD), supporting the latter in defining a concrete concept for the Rural Community Development Programme (RCDP). It was the SFD's intention to include agroforestry supporting measures under this programme.
The objective of the Malaysian-German Research Team was to develop a proposal for an economically and socially viable, as well as environmentally sound pilot project to be carried out in the hill area of Koromoko and Tg. Batu Darat in Kota Marudu District. Using this project as an example, designing experiences were extracted and a "model" was formulated which henceforth will serve to disseminate future
RCDP projects in other areas.
Methodologically, the study was divided into the orientation, the survey and the planning phases.
The orientation and survey phases were carried out in parallel with farmers and institutions. In the planning phase both parties were brought to one table as often as possible, leading to a "Memorandum of
Understanding" on how to proceed with the final planning and the further implementation of the project.
For the selection and application of methods throughout the study, the MGRT tried to follow a participatory approach, being defined as the ensured representation of the interests and influence of all parts of the different target groups.
The orientation and survey phases resulted in a comprehensive description and constraint analysis of the present land use system (LUS) in the target area and its determining factors.
The major problems regarding the present LUS are the low and inconsistent yields. They are caused by low to medium potential of the soils, insufficient regeneration periods for the soils, erosion and pests. There is a lack of wo/manpower mainly while slashing. Labour is unevenly distributed which leads to a high labour burden especially for women. One important limitation which is a part of these problems is the lack of knowledge about agricultural cropping techniques and livestock management. The access to external inputs for the farmers is limited due to their unavailability, as well as lack of cash income, transport and information.
Based on the constraints of the present LUS and the ideas, needs and interests of the farmers, some low external input LUSs were proposed.
Although the project proposals are based on low external inputs, great efforts towards an improved extension service are required. Apart from their specialized skills, each extension worker should also have basic technical knowledge about integrated farming systems.
Most institutions at district level were open-minded about the participatory and integrated approach although their strategies to enforce rural development were quite different. They showed a great interest and strongly supported the MRGT carrying out the research.
To what extent the commitment of the departments involved, towards better interagency cooperation and communication, will last or possibly spread remains uncertain.
The enthusiasm of many villagers gives reasons to believe that at least on project level, new approaches do have a chance of future success.
1037 92 -1/76
Traditional land-use systems
Africa, Zambia, shifting cultivation, farming systems, study, cassava, based systems, sorghum based systems, adaptive research planning, cropping systems, soil fertility, horticulture, firewood production
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