Title of document: Finding alternatives to swidden agriculture: does agroforestry improve livelihood options and reduce pressure on existing forest?

Authors: Syed Ajijur Rahman, Jette Bredahl Jacobsen, John Robert Healey, James M. Roshetko, Terry Sunderland

Ministry/Government Agency/Organisation:University of Copenhagen, Bangor University & CIFOR

Year of publication: 2016

Geographic focus: Indonesia

Url original document: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10457-016-9912-4

Summary: Swidden cultivation can contribute to deforestation and land degradation, which can subsequently result in a number of serious environmental problems. This paper examines the economic and social potential of agroforestry systems and the barriers to their widespread adoption, as a land use alternative to swidden cultivation, which may potentially help protect local forest. Based on farmers’ and experts’ assessment, costs and benefits have been estimated, which show that the two investigated agroforestry systems have higher net present value and benefit-cost ratio (B/C) than the two swidden cultivation systems. Tree ownership also creates more permanent rights to farmland and is prestigious in the community. Agroforestry products (fruit, vegetables etc.) have high monetary value and help strengthen social cohesion when shared with neighbors.