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Education for agro-forestry

Peter A. Huxley


In introducing this subject I am making a distinction between "education" and "training" whereby the latter refers to short, or relatively short-term studies of general or particular practical aspects undertaken in order to achieve a higher level of technical or professional skill, and education refers to a broader, longer-term approach to the acquisition of knowledge, techniques and methods, and the ability to utilize them, and which is undertaken in order to achieve a technical or professional qualification. These two definitions clearly overlap and early on we may make several assumptions about the kind of "education" we are discussing. The first is that it is essentially "education for capability," i.e. embracing not only the acquisition of knowledge and the capacity to analyse it (scholarship), but also the development of creative and useful skills and the competence to undertake tasks, and working abilities (capability). The second assumption is that the outcome of such education is going to be, in nearly all cases, devoted to contributing to national development in some way, as well as providing a livelihood for the person who has been so educated.

Because agro-forestry is so relevant to the development needs of tropical and sub-tropical countries the growth of agro-forestry education is likely to proceed even faster in the developing world than elsewhere. There is another factor which may promote this, the fact that many institutes of education in developing countries are less affected by historical constraints and rigid organization, so that they may benefit by a greater infrastructural flexibility. At least, it is to be hoped that this is so! In addressing the possibilities for agro-forestry education I feel that there is room for a very wide range of informed opinion and considered views. In preparing this paper I have, therefore, set some ideas down more in the form of a structure for discussion than as a formal paper. See also Contant (1979), Roche and Cooper (1980).

1. Do we Actually Need to Set up New Programmers or Courses to Teach a Subject Called "Agro-forestry"?

As we all know, to give a precise description of the limits of agro-forestry is not easy and the compilation of definitions for their own sake is certainly a sterile occupation. Nevertheless, it behoves us to know well the nature of the subject we want to teach and a glance at the definitions listed in Appendix 1 shows very clearly that we are dealing, whatever the differences in emphasis might be, with a range of aspects - technical, social and economical, and obviously dynamic - concerned with particular forms of land use systems: the operative word being "systems." We therefore have to teach about systems in a way that not only describes them, but uncovers and analyses the interactions of the system components, understands the processes, and so facilitates an interpretive, quantitative and objective assessment of the characteristics (e.g. productivity, sustainability) of any one kind of system that has to be assessed - a way which also promotes an easy and effective comparison between systems (whether they are classified as agro-forestry, agriculture, forestry or range management) and also one that encourages the promotion of new ideas and developments.

With this in mind we can return to the question at the head of this section. Thus to whatever extent bits and pieces relevant to agro-forestry may be taught- and this issue is raised again in the next section - it cannot satisfy the full conceptualization of the subject, or be of more than limited practical use in producing professional personnel capable of handling real practical development or research situations, if it deals with only some part or parts of what is a system-oriented subject. Bringing agro-forestry situations and examples into courses on soil, plant or environmental studies; commenting in a descriptive way on case studies of land use which include agro-forestry examples in, say, geography courses; discussing the methodology of the economic analysis of multiple output, long-term land use systems; and mentioning agro-forestry examples in an agricultural course programme will all help promote the subject. But a fully comprehensive and integrative approach is needed if capable, operational personnel are to be produced.

Because it already exists in so many forms, and because the understanding of specific agro-forestry situations in the field includes such a highly integrative approach, agroforestry is really an attitude of mind in the first instance. The development of conceptual approaches, which then lead to practical implementation in constructive terms, is so firmly the objective of educational programmed, nowadays, that the introduction of agroforestry programmes should present a very acceptable challenge. But the task should not be underrated. This is because our whole educational system relating to applied environmental science and land management has developed over the last hundred years or so in precisely the opposite direction. The so-called "pure" sciences (which themselves developed from the necessities and importunities of finding practical solutions to day-to-day problems), were paralleled by "applied" sciences and the technological application of the principles involved. This phase of educational development rapidly involved a fragmentation of subject areas as scientific research found the need for a greater analytical appreciation of the complexities inherent in the study of environmental situations, and the need for highly trained scientific manpower to explore and exploit them. This was followed by a period, up to a short while ago, of re-synthesis as it became apparent, with the rapid increase of knowledge about our environment that ensued, that certain "interfaces" between subject areas were, in their own right, equally vital. For example, in my own subject area "pure" botany led to "applied" or "agricultural" botany, which included specialist courses in plant pathology, plant breeding, plant physiology, etc. These developed even further relevance to practical situations as time went by; plant physiology became "crop" physiology for example, and then, in the re-synthesis phase, we had subjects such as crop-ecology, or pest management (as an addition to courses on applied entomology, plant pathology and weed control!. More recently, with the advent of systems theory, additional courses emphasizing the nature and scope of a holistic approach have added significantly to our appreciation of the need to examine and understand interrelationships in the management and improvement of land-use systems. But systems theory is a tool and the mere addition of courses on this subject, rather than basing the whole structure of a programme around the systems concept entirely, can fall short of promoting even a satisfactory mental capability (leaving aside for the moment the acquisition of skills) in those being educated in land management in one form or another. When we come to agro-forestry, the scope is so wide and the integrative nature of the subject so implicit, that my own view is that there is no really satisfactory way of teaching it without building a programme structure on the systems themselves - but more of this later.

Perhaps one example, of the many that could be given, will serve to elaborate the need to change attitudes through education. For many years land resource planners utilized schemes, developed mainly in temperate countries, which have indicated a classification of land in terms of soil, climate, topography, etc. A further extension has been to extend these so as to indicate "land capability classifications". Until recently forestry enterprises related to timber production were in the main relegated to the poorer areas in most cases. Now that foresters and others are well aware that the so-called "secondary" forest products (fuelwood, fodder, food, etc.) are often of equal importance to timber, planting of forest plots on better land is quite in order. Thus this first attitude barrier is now largely being overcome, but there is still some way to go because, over large areas of the tropics and sub-tropics the producer, often working on very small plots, is concerned with selecting from the whole range of suitable and acceptable plant species those which can satisfy his basic needs. He is therefore interested in an appropriate mixture of plant species, some of which can be trees and shrubs (and also vines and palms, if appropriate). In fact trees and shrubs play an important role on so-called "farm" land throughout much of the tropics, but there is still a strong tendency to consider land capability in terms of agricultural or forestry enterprises, and not to evaluate the possibilities of agro-forestry. Until people are educated in the possibilities of agro-forestry land use systems and are able objectively to evaluate these against other existing possible forms of land use, it is difficult to see how matters will change to any extent.

I would unhesitatingly suggest, therefore, that we do need to teach agro-forestry as a specific subject in its own right.

See also Appendix 2, "Action Guidelines on Education in Agro-forestry."

2. To What Extent Is Agro-forestry already Being Taught?

The ready acceptance of agro-forestry as rational alternative land use systems, and the knowledge that trees and shrubs play a range of important roles in the landscape, has resulted in the initiation of agro-forestry courses of one kind or another all around the world. At ICRAF we are interested in collating information about institutes that are involved in agro-forestry or plan to be, and the actual course or programme structures and contents.

No one type of institute or department has the prerogative of teaching agro-forestry and, quite rightly, the subject is, or will shortly be, of active interest in faculties and departments of forestry, agriculture, horticulture, applied ecology, applied biology, geography, environmental studies and resource planning, and probably others. However, not all have the necessary multidisciplinary staffing to do justice to the subject and many are, I suspect, dealing with the subject in a way which separates the components (plant aspects. soil aspects. economics. etc.).

Such subject-oriented classificatory structures may be helpful in ordering our thoughts about what has to be included in a technology programme but, I suggest, they are not the best way of setting about actually teaching it for the reasons that I have set out in the previous section. What has served as a reasonable division and subdivision of subject areas for the organization of scientific inquiry is not, necessarily, the best for an education programme, even if the material for teaching is most readily available in that form.

Certainly, the needs and objectives of different kinds of educational institutes or departments have to be looked into rather carefully, and it would be ill-advised to reach conclusions about this without a good deal more information and thought.

3. What Will Professional Agro-foresters Have to Do?

In theory there is no difficulty in seeing a wide range of opportunities for professionally trained agro-foresters as planners, developers and research workers, for example, and also, in a "secondary" capacity as teachers and extension operators, as well as trainers of both these groups. In practice, there may be some problems. This is because the question above really poses at least one other. For example, we have to be concerned in the education field not only with what part in national (and international) activities professional agro-foresters may play, but whether jobs and career structures are actually open to them at the present time. And, also, some attention has to be given to the infrastructural nature of the organizations within and between which they all have to work.

Although most governments have a ministry of environment and natural resources, or its equivalent, there are very different levels of co-ordination and collaboration with other involved ministries and government departments which may deal separately with agriculture, forestry, energy, livestock, etc. Even where there are inter-ministry coordinating bodies, problems can remain - not the least the effort needed to convert those who have been educated, and become experienced, in the conventional and separate disciplines of "Forestry" and "Agriculture", for example. Until existing structures are re-modelled, or an adequate degree of change of both attitudes and infrastructural organization is achieved, these factors may tend to militate against either the recruitment of professional agro-foresters or their effective use.

Then again many universities and colleges involved with land development have faculties or departments still structured along conventional lines, i.e. department of forestry, agriculture and so on. For those who are going to study agro-forestry the institutional organization of subject areas into "schools" (e.g. school of environment studies, or school of land resource planning, etc.) may perhaps better facilitate the development of a highly integrative subject such as agro-forestry, and also utilize its concepts and practices to better advantage.

One important aspect of education programmes, as we all know, is not just to plan to keep up with the times with new types of programmed or courses, but to provide trained manpower for the development process in the number and types required, and at the time when they are needed and can be absorbed. Most of us here will see this need, but rather careful co-operation with national manpower development divisions may be more than usually a prerequisite for the development of agro-forestry education programmes in any particular country.

In listing some possible professional activities I have just briefly mentioned that of "extension." The functions of government (as well as non-government) organized assistance and control of producers, and the efficacy or otherwise of different approaches to extension, as well as the training needed to achieve competence in these, are outside the scope of this paper. However, I would like to suggest that the more refreshing approach to research in developing countries which we have seen coming about in the last decade could help to remove some of the burden of both transmitting and developing new ideas, methods and materials at the farm level. The key word here is "developing" as, more and more, both research objectives and the steps by which they are achieved, are now incorporating farmer participation. We are all only too well aware of some of the costly and time-wasting mistakes that have been made in the past when purely technical solutions to land use problems have been reached, in isolation, by researchers. The development of many more "on-farm" trials, in which the farmer himself can undertake the management, and at least help with the evaluation phases is now, fortunately, becoming much more commonplace. What is important to us here is that these kinds of activities are not only often more relevant researchwise but they are, in themselves, extension exercises as well.

Because agro-forestry systems are so often very sitespecific there is a very considerable need to develop simple field research methodologies for evaluating both new components and processes (as well as new systems) together with the farmer, and in direct relation to his particular output requirements. Agro-forestry educational processes should certainly emphasize the knowledge, skills and techniques which will enable the recipient to take a full part in this new approach in the research-extension continuum.

In discussing professional education in agro-forestry we must consider not only higher-level but mid-level cadres. These might be expected to be more technology-oriented and to fill lower-level management and junior field research posts, for example. There is no less need for orientation in the systems approach, but we might start further back and try to distinguish between the actual technical skills needed for agro-forestry as distinct from agriculture or forestry. For the time being the practice of agro-forestry (planting, soil management, caring for crops and trees, harvesting, pest management, field procedures) will require only those basic skills which agricultural technologists or forestry technologists can, between them, provide. It may be only an expediency but, for the time being do we really need to do more than combine personnel trained in technologies through existing courses in agriculture, horticulture or forestry? This is an attractive proposition but perhaps basic skills are not enough. The successful application of technology implies a familiarization with the systems, or those being dealt with - the actual handling of particular species of multi-purpose trees, for example. So, although programmes designed to produce manpower fully capable of implementing agro-forestry projects in the field may for now draw on other forms of existing technical teaching quite heavily, some essential parts will still need to relate specifically to the components found in appropriate agroforestry systems. First of all, however, we have to gain an adequate technical knowledge of these - for example, much more information is needed about the management of multipurpose trees than we at present possess.

4. Is there a Case for Developing Agro-forestry Teaching from a "New" Angle?

This question really applies to higher-level professional education - more specifically to full degree programmes. In previous sections, arguments for a systems-oriented approach have been introduced based on the very integrative nature of agro-forestry. These can be extended by two other factors: the time limitations in undertaking programmes which may try to cover both agricultural and forestry components, processes (and principles) in a conventional, course-structured way; and, related to this, the essential need, at this educational level, to treat as much material as possible "in depth" and at a suitable intellectual standard.

We might make two reasonable assumptions. The first, that it is quite unnecessary to cover everything - i.e. students of agro-forestry do not need to be taught to be both agriculturists and foresters. Indeed, I would go further and suggest that, in any first-degree course, filling the mind is a lot less important than training it, so that students of agro-forestry do not need, even at this level, to gain personal knowledge of every single aspect of agro-forestry (as defined in Appendix 1). The second assumption is that the acquisition of knowledge which is itself easily related to practical examples, and which is clearly part of a system (or subsystem), is an economical and effective way of educating for capability. This is because if at least some of the interactive aspects of that particular example can be appreciated (and by observing a practical situation this is made more likely) then the learner is able to relate specific technical knowledge (say the aetiology and epidemiology of a plant pathogen causing a crop disease) to its effects on the system as a whole (the financial costs of controlling it, or not; how labour and skill have to be organized, and so on). Because "teaching by example" is time-costly, its use emphasizes even more the need to take the first assumption to heart.

But I would go even further. And I believe that for an integrative subject of such enormous scope as agroforestry it could be extremely effective. Except perhaps in the first year of an agro-forestry degree programme, conventionally formulated course structures could well be dispensed with and their content, in the main, included as a well-prepared sequence of practical field exercises chosen to illustrate different kinds of systems (or parts of systems). To supplement the field practicals there would clearly need to be "satellite" exercises (lectures, library reading, laboratory practicals) but all with the purpose of elaborating the subject in relation to the system being examined. Ordinary courses on such subjects as "Soils," "Climate," "Plant Diseases," "Animal Husbandry." "Silviculture" would not occur in their usual form. Instead, their content would be included and combined in the field exercise with any necessary elaboration occurring through "satellite" teaching modules.

Such a programme starts in the field and works towards the fine details. Historically, we have tended to treat landuse/land-management subjects the other way round, thereby arriving at the value of a subject to a whole system at the end rather than the beginning. Fig. 1 (taken from a previous paper) gives a brief structural indication of what is intended.

There are two major constraints to the efficient implementation of such a scheme: its dependence on an extremely well-ordered and carefully integrated series of practical field exercises, which would have to have a high degree of reliability in actual operation; and the lack of continuity of staffing which is still a problem in many educational institutes in developing countries. Both can be, at least to some extent, overcome in a similar way.

FIG. 1. Skeletal outline intended to present only a general idea of a course (programme) structure for agro-forestry at degree level. A, B and B., C, C, and C2, etc., are practical exercises chosen both to present a logical sequence and to contain the necessary elements of what would normally be given in separate courses (soils, climate, silviculture, etc.). "Satellite" exercises accompany these as necessary to supplement them with lectures, seminars, laboratory practices, etc. (in some cases preceding or following the main exercise). (Source: P.A. Huxley, 1979.)

Although a poor substitute, well documented (and illustrated) "case" studies of agro-forestry systems,' complete with data, might be used to replace some "homegrown" field examples; or at least kept in reserve in case of accidents. The question of maintaining effective continuity in teaching such programmes might be answered by having the main structure of the programme designed by a group of experts. It could then be provided as a set of elaborated guidelines, complete with suggestions for practical examples and teaching aids, to whatever faculties or institutes required it. There would still be the task of arranging the practicals, but a set of manuals on what to look for, and what to measure, etc., could assist even here. There may be a feeling of revulsion against such a proposal, particularly as lecturers and teachers are usually very independently minded people who wish to teach their own thing in their own way. Sufficient scope for the inclusion of local initiatives within the main framework would, clearly, be essential.

With regard to shorter programmes (one-year diplomas, M.Sc., etc.) there is probably less reason for innovation but, even here, the underlying need to understand and appreciate the highly interrelated parts of an agro-forestry system is still a mandatory feature.

See also Huxley (1976a, 1976b, 1979).

5. What Has to be Done?

Changes in education are usually brought about only very slowly, whereas human response to and realization of new understandings and initiatives can be remarkably rapid (environmental conservation, renewable energy. agroforestry). So although it is accepted that the pace and quality of progress in any aspect of national development is highly dependent on a sufficiency of correctly and adequately trained manpower, it is unlikely that professionally trained agro-foresters will be forthcoming in anything like adequate numbers for some time to come. What is to be done in the meantime? Certainly, as a stopgap, agro-forestry course packages can be included in all kinds of other educational programmes and ICRAF's Training and Education Programme does include a place for the preparation of such a course "package," when resources allow! Retraining of graduates through short-term diploma or M.Sc. courses will not be a difficult thing to start, and this is already being done at several institutes. But this meeting and, at greater length, the forthcoming Workshop on Professional Education in Agro-forestry, will, no doubt, wish to address this question.

If we are going to teach we have to have some materials to teach with. There is an urgent need to organize the collection, assessment, re-formulation and exchange of appropriate teaching materials for agro-forestry courses. A growing number of publications on agro-forestry is now appearing in the scientific press (including a new journal devoted to it, Agro-forestry Systems), and other journals. ICRAF is contributing, along with many other organizations, institutes and faculties; and much of this material can be useful in teaching (for example, see ICRAF's latest "Publication List" and bibliographies from different sources). Existing agro-forestry field projects can provide case study materials of considerable value, and this source can be expected to grow rapidly over the next few years. ICRAF's own programme allows for the preparation of five major separate reviews covering particular areas of agro-forestry (agro-forestry and food, renewable energy, animals, soils and social and economic aspects). There is also to be a "Science and Practice of Agro-forestry" series of small booklets (about 100 pages) each concerned with a particular aspect of agro-forestry research, development or technology.

In a few years, through the combined efforts of those involved and interested, the "literature gap" will at least be partially filled, and it is to be hoped that much of the material to come will be concerned with detailed factual accounts and experimental data.

Perhaps the greatest challenge to be faced will be the changes in attitudes among educators themselves, along with the necessary infrastructural modifications which will be needed even to absorb agro-forestry as a part of existing curricula let alone set it up as a programme on its own.

Appendix 1. Agro-forestry Defined

Agro-forestry is an age-old practice for which modern concepts are only now being developed, so it is not surprising to find that some agricultural and horticultural systems might appear to overlap into agro-forestry (or viceversa). Indeed, one might define agro-forestry as that which is not commonly accepted as agriculture, horticulture or forestry! However, because it is difficult to be precise about the terms "agriculture," "horticulture" and "forestry," a definition is needed to give the term "agro-forestry" some commonly accepted meaning. Its precision will depend on how involved it becomes: the meaning of "agro-forestry" can be stated in a number of ways, depending on the level of discrimination required by those being addressed.

This subject was debated briefly at a conference "International Co-operation in Agro-forestry" - convened by ICRAF in Nairobi, 16-22 July 1979. Some of the suggestions, together with the definition previously used by ICRAF, are given below.

A very simple statement may often be adequate - despite its lack of precision. For example:

Agro-forestry is a form of land use that successfully satisfies the need of the crop farmer, forester and/or stock farmer. - Kabelo Gilbert Mafura, Ministry of Agriculture, Lesotho.

Agro-forestry denotes all activities in land utilization where the production of food goes hand-in-hand with the production of wood (in its widest sense). Soekiman Atmosoedarjo, State Forest Corporation, Indonesia.


Agro-forestry involves the combination of trees in a land-use system in space or time with either crops or animals production, or both, in order to achieve a stable production system for the benefit of rural population. - G. Budowski, Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Enzenanza, Costa Rica.

More ideas are brought in by the following:

Agro-forestry is a sound land-use system that integrates trees with crops and/or animals so as to get higher productivity, more economic returns, and better social benefits on sustained basis, than are obtainable from monoculture on the same unit of land. Even for marginal areas and under conditions of low levels of technological inputs. P.K.R. Nair, ICRAF.

Agro-forestry is a socially, culturally, and ecologically acceptable, integrated form of land use involving trees that improves or does not degrade the soil and permits increased and sustained production of plant and animal produce including wood.- R.B. Contant, ICRAF.

Agro-forestry is a sustainable land management system which increases the overall yield of land, combines the production of crops (including tree crops) and forest plants and/or animals simultaneously or sequentially, on the same unit of /and, and applies management practices that are compatible with the cultural practices of the local population.- K.S.F. King and M.T. Chandler, ICRAF, in The Wasted Lands.

Then again:

Agro-forestry should be considered to be a generic term that embraces the following specific components:

Agri-silviculture- the conscious and deliberate use of land for the concurrent production of agricultural crops (including tree crops) and forest crops.

Silvo-pastoral systems - land management systems in which forests are managed for the production of wood as well as for the rearing of domesticated animals.

Agro-silvopastoral systems in which land is managed for the concurrent production of agricultural and forest crops and for the rearing of domesticated animals. This system is, in effect, a combination of agri-silviculture and the silvopastoral system.

Multi-purpose forest tree production systems here forest tree species are regenerated and managed for their ability to produce not only wood, but leaves and/or fruit suitable for food and/or fodder. - K.F.S. King, ICRAF.

More detailed forms might be:

Agro-forestry is any type of multiple cropping land use that:

- entails complementary relations between tree and agricultural crops and produces some combination of food, fruits, fodder, fuel, wood mulches, and so forth;
- is usually, but not necessarily, low input;
- achieves a more efficient use of radiant energy (sunlight), moisture and plant nutrients than is effected by sole cropping or by separate agricultural or tree production systems, reduces or prevents soil and land deterioration processes such as erosion, leaching, and floods, or the effects of excessive insolation on bare soil.
- C.F. Bentley, Chairman, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.


Agro-forestry is any land use system that:

- provides fuel as well as tree/shrub products (or the environmental benefits that may accrue from growing trees/shrubs);
- involves multiple, mixed or zonal cropping, with or without animal production, in which woody perennials are grown for more than one purpose together with herbaceous crops or grasses.

Through these combinations agro-forestry aims to:

- maximize use of radiant energy, minimize losses of plant nutrients in the system, as well as optimize water-use efficiency and minimize run-off and soil loss. Thus it retains any benefits in these respects that may be conferred by woody perennials compared with conventional agricultural crops, and so maximizes total output of benefits from the land whilst conserving and improving it. Peter A. Huxley, ICRAF.

Agro-forestry is a collective name for land use systems in which woody perennials are deliberately grown on the same piece of land as agricultural crops and/or animals, either in some form of spatial arrangement or in sequence. In agro-forestry systems, the woody component interacts ecologically and economically with the crop and/or animal components. Such interactions will take many different forms, both positive and negative, and they need not remain stable over time. The aim and rationale of most agro-forestry systems are to optimize the positive interactions in order to obtain a higher total, a more diversified and/or a more sustainable production from the available resources than is possible with other forms of land use under prevailing ecological, technological and socioeconomic conditions. Bjorn Lundgren, ICRAF.

Appendix 2. Action Guidelines on Education in Agro-forestry

Extracted from full set of guidelines on research, development and education drawn up at the ICRAF/DSE Conference on International Co-operation in AgroforestN, 16-21 July 1979, Nairobi, Kenya.

Recommended that:

1. Institutions of higher education in agriculture and forestry collaborate closely and adopt the following measures:

(a) add courses in farming/land use systems and agro-forestry to their undergraduate and postgraduate curricula;
(b) incorporate agro-forestry-related aspects into all relevant existing courses;
(c) identify agro-forestry-related research opportunities in all relevant postgraduate specialization, where applicable, in cooperation with research institutions.

2. Technical agricultural and forestry schools introduce a general agro-forestry course unit.

3. In-sewice courses in agro-forestry, which are urgently needed for the training of teaching staff at all levels, be of the following kinds:

(a) scientific/technical courses at post-M.Sc. level, for different specializations;
(b) technical courses at (post-) B.Sc. level, similar to the agro-forestry courses advocated for regular undergraduate programmed;
(c) special courses for agrarian reform planner and administrators.

4. Regular agro-forestry courses at undergraduate and technical levels be organized on a national rather than a regional basis. Local institutions should, therefore, be made self-reliant as soon as possible by the provision of relevant packages of teaching material.

5. As postgraduate programmes are costly and highly demanding in terms of manpower and physical resources, a regional approach based on the co-operation of a number of universities be followed.

6. In-service courses at all levels be organized on a regional basis at well-equipped faculties of agriculture and forestry, taking into account linguistic and ecological considerations in the choice of locations.

7. Demonstration plots on agro-forestry be established on each of the different ecological zones for the purpose of training professional and technical staff and for the dissemination of information to the public.

8. A modular approach be adopted in the preparation of agro-forestry teaching materials, with the following priorities:

(a) a general agroforestry module, intended as a basis for technical in-service courses and for graduate and postgraduate course units. This module could gradually be differentiated into packages for different ecological regions;
(b) a module for planners and administrators, to be combined with an abridged version of module (a);
(c) a series of discipline-specific modules, intended as a basis for scientific/technical in-service courses in combination with module (a) and also for incorporation into the regular courses of graduate and postgraduate programmes in agriculture, forestry and related disciplines.

9. Postgraduate research projects in agro-forestry form part of large interdisciplinary programmes conducted and/or guided by teams of scientists.

10. Governments take steps to familiarize primary and secondary school children with the role of multipurpose trees in rural development.

11. ICRAF:

(a) Play a coordinating role in the preparation and continuing improvement of teaching packages consisting of course outlines, lecture notes, lists of reference, additional reading material and audio-visual aids, for inservice courses, agro-forestry course units and agro-forestry related elements in the relevant agricultural and forestry, subjects;
(b) Lend support to those institutions of higher education that wish to initiate an agroforestry option in their undergraduate programme (agriculture or forestry );
(c) Participate actively in the establishment of a network of regional centres for postgraduate training and research as well as in-service courses in agro-forestry using existing institutions of higher agricultural and forestry education;
(d) Compile handbooks on multipurpose tree species potentially useful for agro-forestry systems, containing information on ecological requirements, distribution, possible uses and seed sources;
(e) Coordinate the writing and publication of textbooks on agro-forestry at higher technical and university level;
(f) Prepare, distribute and periodically update a directory of scientists with training and/or experience in agro-forestry;
(g) Request at regular intervals from all agricultural and forestry schools, colleges and faculties, information on agro-forestry courses and programmes;
(h) Explore the desirability of an agro-forestry journal and, if considered desirable, assume a coordinating and editorial role;
(i) Examine the feasibility of restructuring the undergraduate programme on the basis of a systems approach and incorporating agro-forestry elements, and, if feasible, prepare the curricula and syllabuses for such a programme.


Contant, R.B. 1979. "Training and Education in Agro-forestry." In T Chandler and D. Spurgeon, eds., International Co-operation in Agro-forestry. pp. 190-218. Proceedings of an International Conference, DSEIICRAF. Nairobi.

Huxley, P.A. 1976a. Agricultural Re-education." Span, 19: 80.
- 1976b. Addendum to "Agricultural Re-education." in C.L. Keswani et al., eds., Proceedings of Workshop on Agricultural Curricula for Undergraduate Students. pp. 335-345. Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science, University of Dar-es-Salaam. Morogoro, Tanzania.
- 1979. "Agro-forestry at Degree Level: A New Programme Structure." In T. Chandler and D. Spurgeon, eds., International Co-operation in Agro-forestry. pp. 219-227. Proceedings of an International Conference; DSEACRAF. Nairobi.

Roche, L., and R. Cooper. 1980. "Forestry for Local Community Development: Manpower, Training and Education Requirements. Commonwealth Forestry Review, 59: 163-179.


Education in agro-forestry could be considered at a number of levels - training higher-level staff, and training field workers {especially extension workers) and, through them, the farmers themselves. One of the most important duties of the higher staff would be to train extension workers.

A large and growing number of institutions claimed to be giving courses in agro-forestry, and this was also covered to some extent in courses labelled, for instance, "Applied Ecology." Agro-forestry was a fashionable subject, and there were dangers that some institutions would initiate courses without adequate facilities being available. Maintenance of standards was important. Strengthening of existing institutions was probably more important than the creation of new ones.

There were difficulties in selection and recruitment of both lecturers and students. Very few people were available with qualifications in agro-forestry, and it would be necessary to begin by employing as lecturers people who had been trained in other disciplines. The important thing was that they should be prepared to co-operate with others within a multidisciplinary framework. As for students, one suggestion was that training might begin at the M.Sc. level, but the view was also expressed that high academic achievement alone was not the best criterion for selection of workers whose duties would be mainly working with farmers in rural areas.

Courses in agro-forestry should be co-ordinated with related subjects such as community forestry and rural energy programmes. As the success of agro-forestry was largely dependent on relationships with people, studies should have a high emphasis on social relationships. The emphasis of Dr. Huxley on field work was generally welcomed, though one participant pointed out that this could be more expensive than classroom work.

Apart from specialists in agro-forestry, all those concerned with land-resource development should have some knowledge of the subject and courses for such people were also an important part of agro-forestry education. Another important function of agroforestry institutions was the provision of library and documentation services.

With regard to extension workers and training of farmers, it was suggested that, rather than attempting to set up a new cadre of agro-forestry extension workers, with the confusion this could cause in the minds of the farmers, existing agriculture or forestry extension workers could be trained in the techniques of agroforestry. Such workers must be in close contact with the farmers, both men and women, and be prepared to accept feedback from them. They should tell the people what was possible, relying on them to say what their needs were.

Extension workers, however, could not be left on their own. Higher officials also should go among the farmers and discuss their problems with them, to ensure that the programme was adhering to the principles and lines of approach laid down.

Pilot or model farmers could play an important part in spreading knowledge to their neighbours, and many field trials should be made on farmers' own farms demonstration was always more convincing than propaganda.

Provision of training material in agro-forestry could form an important part of adult literacy programmes. There was a general need for such material, which could best, however, be prepared on the spot by the extension services.

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