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close this bookAgroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability (UNU, 1993, 297 pages)
close this folder9 Institutional agroforestry in the Pacific Islands
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntercropping of tree crops/woody perennials with commercial or subsistence ground or tree crops
View the documentPlanting of timber, fuel wood, and general-purpose trees in relation to agroforestry and agriculture
View the documentGrazing with commercial tree cropping and silviculture
View the documentThe future of institutional agroforestry in the Pacific

(introduction...)

Intercropping of tree crops/woody perennials with commercial or subsistence ground or tree crops
Planting of timber, fuel wood, and general-purpose trees in relation to agroforestry and agriculture
Grazing with commercial tree cropping and silviculture
The future of institutional agroforestry in the Pacific

The agroforestry systems so far described in this volume have been informal, often traditional systems that were developed on the basis of empirical, non-quantitative experimentation by local practitioners. We turn now to institutional agroforestry in the Pacific Islands, by which we mean those agroforestry activities that are promoted by governments, quasi-government organizations, private agencies, companies, and aid donors and that involve external funding, formal training, agronomic research, and extension services. Because the activities that fall under the rubric "institutional agroforestry" are becoming so many and varied, we provide here only a summary review rather than attempt a comprehensive survey. Other reviews of the topic are the paper by Vergara and Nair (1985) and the reports given by country representatives at a meeting on agroforestry held in 1987 at the University of the South Pacific's School of Agriculture in Western Samoa (Clements 1988).

Inasmuch as plantation agriculture is the core of much institutional agroforestry in the modern Pacific, it can be said that institutionalized activities were first promoted by colonial governments when they encouraged the plantation production of products for export in order to finance government expenditure and to provide cash income to local populations. Agroforestry projects are encouraged today for similar reasons as well as to meet local demand for forest products, to bring grass-fern "wastelands" to greater productive use, and to reduce the adverse environmental effects of rapid deforestation. A major emphasis of recent agroforestry programmes has been the promotion of increased productivity through multiple use, although multiple use is often defined solely with regard to the commodities derived from some mix of commercial crops, livestock, or timber, rather than in terms of the traditional context wherein an agroforested landscape showed increased multi-purpose utility and stability.

Table 10 Categories and examples of institutional agroforestry in the Pacific Islands

Intercropping of tree crops/woody perennials with commercial or subsistence ground or tree crops - Coconuts intercropped with ground and tree crops

  • Cocoa intercropped with ground crops under shade trees and/or coconuts
  • Coffee with shade/nurse trees or shelter-belts
  • Citrus with shelter-belts and multi-purpose species
  • Bananas intercropped with ground crops under coconuts or other trees
  • Vanilla with host plants under coconuts
  • Oil-palm with subsistence and commercial crops
  • Kava with ground crops and/or other trees
  • Other commercial agroforestry intercrops

Planting timber, fuel wood, and general-purpose trees in relation to agroforestry and agriculture

  • Pine plantations in relation to agroforestry
  • Non-pine forestry in relation to agroforestry

Grazing with commercial tree cropping and silviculture (silvipastoral or agrosilvipastoral systems)

  • Livestock under coconuts
  • Cattle under timber species
  • Other silvipastoral activities

Most modern agroforestry projects fall into one of three categories:

  1. intercropping of tree crops or woody perennials with commercial or subsistence ground or tree crops;
  2. planting timber and/or fuel-wood species (mostly exotic) within existing agricultural systems, as intercrops, rotational crops, or as small-scale monocultures, or woodlots; and
  3. 3. grazing under commercial tree cropping.

Table 10 provides examples of the kinds of activities that are practised under each category.