17. Homestead agroforestry in Bangladesh.
In: Agroforestry Systems in the Tropics; Ed. P.K.R. Nair; Kluwer
Academic Publishers in coop. with ICRAF, Dordrecht, Netherlands; 1989, pp. 197-210
This paper evaluates the general conditions with respect to homestead agroforestry in Bangladesh and reports the results of a field survey.
Trees in the homesteads play an important role in the rural economy of Bangladesh. Often called homestead forests, such plantings are particularly important sources of fuelwood because fuelwood cannot be transported long distances from existing forest areas.
In the absence of other wood sources, improved village forestry and homestead agroforestry are important to the development of Bangladesh and the well-being of its people.
The Homestead Agroforestry Research and Development Project, being formulated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) - Dhaka Mission, has been proposed as a means to increase fuelwood supplies from homestead agroforests.
The many woody species grown in the homesteads are a significant source of fuelwood; they also provide fodder, building materials and other forms of wood. In the context of the prevailing shortage of fuelwood and excessive deforestation in Bangladesh, this homestead agroforestry system needs to be strengthened.
A field survey was undertaken to assess the prospects and feasibility of initiating a programme for the improvement of homestead agroforestry systems.
Concluding, the authors state that the conditions in Bangladesh seem favourable for the successful implementation of a homestead agroforestry project. Many persons there own their own homesteads and farms, thereby eliminating the disincentive of planting trees which someone else will harvest. Moreover the farmers are familiar with trees and their cultivation, and they believe that they have room to plant more trees.
Thus the level of basic knowledge and perception of opportunity among the farmers is satisfactory.
Channels of distribution for planting stocks must exist or be built.
Plant varieties better adapted to local growing conditions, generally improved growing stock and exotic can enhance programme success, although management practices for these plants must often be taught.
Existing government nurseries and extension services are appropriate institutions for distribution and teaching to start with.
Forest services have traditionally managed only trees grown in large forested areas. Many foresters consider working with other species unprofessional or demeaning. Foresters must shift part of their emphasis from the traditional forest trees to multipurpose trees which people desire. In addition, management practices for multipurpose and other species are important. These should include practices for individual and small groups of trees, as well as large planted areas.
The study shows that women play an important role in collecting fuel and in planting and cultivating trees. This implies that programmes should strongly consider modules to inform women of the new plant materials and to teach them new cultural and management practices.
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Review, book, guidelines, rapid appraisal, agroforestry research, extension
ABEL, N.O.J. et al.
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