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View the document Some observations about agricultural plantations and agri-silviculture

Some observations about agricultural plantations and agri-silviculture

Because of uncertainties in some of the traditional small-holding cocoa producing countries. cocoa cultivation is becoming geographically more widely distributed and is increasingly being grown on a plantation basis, either as a monoculture or under coconuts. In Malaysia, the traditional tree fruits may follow a similar course and black pepper is also seen as a target for the specialist-producer.

This trend cuts right across the emphasis in current international forestry literature on the potential for "agroforestry", that is, simultaneous intercropping of trees and food crops. It is important, therefore, to clarify the difference between these monoculture farming and forestry systems and the in egrated food and tree inter-cropping farming systems practiced, for example, by small farmers in Java, in the

Kerala region of India, in Sri Lanka (the Kandy Garden System), and so on. The very small farmer of the humid tropics with less than two hectares of land, typically grows a variety of food and cash crops around and near his house. In Java, the farmer is highly skilled and cultivates rice, cassava, maize, beans, groundnuts and vegetables in association with bananas, plantains, citrus, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, cocoa and a variety of tree fruits, all under a thin stand of coconuts.

The homestead tree lot, so typical of the humid tropics, reaches its highest expression in Sri Lanka, where the "tree gardens" round Kandy present a complex association of cassava, bananas, ginger, plantains and others under a mixed stand of tree fruits, coffee, cocoa, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, areca palm and coconuts. In West Africa, this sector is represented and vegetables are grown in association with a mixed stand of coffee, cocoa, tree fruits, kola and oil palm.

These small-farmer systems contrast sharply with the simplicity of monocropped agriculture and forestry plantations and by comparison would be more difficult to modify and improve. Improvement of smallholdings such as those in Java and Nigeria may only be possible by the provision of better planting material over an extended period of time, but a catalytic effect might be achieved by better roads and marketing facilities. These would stimulate the larger and more progressive farmers into modifying their cropping systems to take advantage of the better circumstances, but for the very small subsistence farmer, the element of risk could still be too high to permit change; under these circumstances, some degree of land consolidation and cooperative farming might be essential before improved cropping systems could be introduced.

As a broad conclusion, it seems that the "agri-forestry" farming systems used by small farmers in Java and elsewhere in the humid tropics are well proven and provide a diversified combination of subsistence, food and cash crops which reduce the risks of starvation and, at the same time, offer some small surplus cash income. However, it seems possible that where small farmers have room to manoeuvre and expand the scope of their cashcropping operations, the trend is likely to be toward monoculture rather than away from it. In other words, in the humid tropics agri-forestry combinations may not always prove to be the most productive small farms.

The distinction between monoculture and intercropping (agri-forestry) farming systems deserves attention because recently there has been a tendency for foresters to jump on the agriforestry bandwagon and promote indiscriminately agri-forestry systems in all areas of forestry development as a' means of increasing the productivity of tropical forest lands. A more selective approach seems to be warranted with emphasis on those small farming systems or phases of development in plantation forestry where intercropping of food and tree crops can be of definite technical and economic benefit.

An associated issue is this: if we take a closer look at the potential for introducing agriforestry in the humid tropics outside the well-established taungya plantation model and study the cropping pattern being used in such places as Java, Kerala, and Sri Lanka, we find that most of the trees which are being grown are fruit trees or horticultural crops which traditionally have fallen outside the foresters' province. Clearly, if foresters are to play a more active role in this area, we need to broaden our knowledge of the range of tree crops which can be used in forestry and to work in closer association with tropical agronomists who are familiar with such crops. We will also have to accept that this is an area in which the forester may often have to play a supporting role to the agronomist and agricultural economist rather than the converse. Investment in traditional forest tree crops will frequently, but not always, be a relatively low proportion of the cropped area and of farm investment costs.

Philippines: a smallholder tree-farming project

The unique feature of this smallholder tree-farming project is that, with the exception of a project in Gujarat State, India, it is the only one financed by the World Bank, to date, where small farmers are growing forest trees as a cash crop. This is a second-phase project and it has two main components: smallholder tree-farming through a supervised credit scheme operated by the Development Bank of the Philippines: and pine plantation development by the Bureau of Forest Development.

The smallholder tree-farming component is encouraging farmers on marginal agricultural lands throughout the country to take up tree farming (associated with food crop production) for establishment of firewood, charcoal. pulpwood and leaf-meal plantations. The project is innovative and experimental and is based on the Bank's experience of an earlier US$2 million pilot project which provided funds for the development of pulpwood resources around the PICOP Pulp Mill. The first-phase pilot project was successful and has led to a quantified and readily perceivable improvement in the participating farmers' income and way of life.

Under the second-phase project, out of 28 000 ha of tree-farm development to be financed, 10 000 ha will be located in Mindanao, 5 000 in Visayas and 8000 ha in the Ilocos region of northern Luzon. Tree-farm size ranges from two to 15 ha. Fuelwood and charcoal plantations. which account for a high proportion of project farms, average about five ha.

In relation to the likely impact of the project on rural incomes, experience under the Philippines I Project is well documented and it would seem reasonable to anticipate sustainable net revenues of something between US$78 and US$100 per ha from tree farms of Albizia producing pulpwood, something in the order of US$140 per ha for tree farms producing fuel wood and charcoal. and US$300 per ha for farms producing leaf meal (based on Giant lpil-ipil).

To save the tropical forest; from further depletion the focus should be more on how to improve the incomes and quality of life of the 200 million who practise shifting cultivation throughout these forests. forests.

The financial rates of return to farmers are high and the project's economic rate of return is something in the order of 23 percent. The second project is experiencing difficulties related to land-tenure constraints, and the need for greater flexibility in this area is under review.

As for ensuring that forests are protected. The most increasing feature of the Philippines smallholder tree-farming experience is that it is mobilizing shifting cultivators in the reestablishment of forest cover in formerly degrated catchment areas. The profit incentive of tree farming is helping to encourage reforestation of eroded catchments.

Despite the obvious attraction of this formula, there are limitations to its wider application. One of the main problem areas inn planning for expansion of the first-phase project proved to be the economic radius for haulage for pulpwood Smallholder tree farmers situated outside a 100-km radius from the mill were excluded because of the transportation cost factor. Projects of this type are particularly suitable for establishment of plantations around a central processing plant (whether for the production of pulp, charcoal, power generation. alcohol. Number or leaf meal) where there is a guaranteed market price for wood. But all of these different industries have upper limits of delivered wood cost beyond which it is not possible. profitably. to process the raw material. In other words. they are primarily suitable for concentrated resource development within the command area of a processing plant. For this reason, this approach could not be adopted as a "blanket", solution for all proposed forest areas in which shifting cultivation is a serious problem.

The scope for extension of the Philippines experience to other countries is, nevertheless, considerable and the World Bank is reviewing prospects for helping some of its other member countries to undertake similar schemes.

One of the most effective ways to slow down the rate of tropical forest destruction is to attack the root cause of the problem - rural poverty. If we continue lo depend only on exhortations to logging companies, multinational corporations and developingcountry governments to "stop tropical deforestation". It is my own personal view that we will be no more successful in arresting the pace of forestry destruction than was King Canute in trying to stop the advancing waves by using equally futile tactics. A deliberate shift in conservation strategy is needed to focus more on positive approaches to rural development and alleviation of rural poverty, if we are to preserve effectively what is left of the tropical forest ecosystems.

I have attempted to show that a considerable part of the so-called "forest destruction" taking place in the developing world is, in fact, a logical shift in land use to more productive crop or farming systems. Provided that these are adequately supported with technical extension, agricultural inputs and other resources, land-settlement projects can provide a sustainable land-use alternative to retention of the land under virgin forest cover. There seems lo be convincing evidence that many of the agriculture and rural development projects already initiated in tropical forest areas have resulted in a quantifiable increase in rural incomes; have enabled the small farmers involved to settle in more stable communities; and have eliminated their former dependence on shifting cultivation. In other words, settlement of small farmers and forest protection need not be mutually exclusive objectives.

In some of the projects undertaken in the past in which land-use and soil capability surveys were carefully carried out in advance of settlement, and agricultural development channelled into the Ratter lands, it has proved possible to exclude a large part of the remaining forest from agricultural settlement and this has remained unexploited (Malaysia, Jengka). In other cases, inadequacy of forward planning, or too high a degree of dependence on non-enforceable forestry protection legislation, has failed to protect the forest. This means that project design must be flexible and take into account the needs and aspirations of incoming settlers or small farmers (Colombia, Caqueta).

Because of the wide variation of tropical forest soils, climatic and physical conditions, it is impossible to generalize about appropriate farming systems for tropical forest areas. but what seems to emerge from this analysis is that perennial agricultural tree crops such as oil palm, coffee, rubber, cocoa, tea and coconut can be an ecologically sound alternative to natural forest management and, secondly, that whatever agricultural crop or livestock or forest plantation crop combinations are envisaged, the capacity of governments to ensure adequate support services, inputs. such as fertilizer and seeds, agricultural research services, feeder roads, social infrastructure and marketing outlets constitute a decisive factor in determining whether a particular farming system is sustainable. Even in the most intractable soils. such as those of the Amazon, evidence suggests that. given appropriate attention to soil conservation measures and crop husbandry techniques. it may prove possible to sustain arable, and even livestock farming, systems on at least the better endowed of these low fertility soils where, in the past, all such attempts have failed.

Because market constraints for plantation-grown agricultural and forest tree crops will probably limit their development to something less than 10 percent of the remaining tropical forest ecosystems between now and the turn of the century, high priority should be given to agricultural research and to pilot-scale development programmes aimed at improving the present state of knowledge of sustainable food cropping systems as an alternative to shifting agriculture and, in the interim, directing settlement to better soils.

In watershed areas, an integrated rural or "area" development approach which offers the small farmer an alternative to his ecologically destructive way of life can help to preserve the remaining forest and, thereby, reduce the risk of soil erosion and downstream flooding. Investment in such infrastructural "inputs" as a supply of seeds and fertilizers, torrentcontrol structures, soil-conservation measures, provision of credit, training of extension staff, feeder roads, marketing services, schools, shops, hospitals and other social services is the quickest and most certain way to ensure that farmers abandon shifting cultivation and adopt a more sustainable farming system. Some agricultural and livestock farming systems with appropriate husbandry practices can also provide effective catchment protection. In other words, forestry is not the only solution.

It is clear that compensatory forest plantations have an important role to play in ensuring protection of part of the remaining tropical forest ecosystem because they can provide an alternative source of timber and take the pressure off further exploitation of indigenous resources. Reforestation programmes in the developing countries are currently proceeding at less than 20 percent of the rate needed to ensure domestic self-sufficiency by the year 2000 and a massive increase in the annual rate of establishment of fast-growing species is called for before smallholder tree-farming can play a significant role in situations where the forest lands or catchment areas to be protected are situated within an economic haulage distance of a processing plant or cash market.

Concerning the problem of the preservation of biotic reserves, the environmental agencies of the world have done a masterly job in alerting international awareness on this matter. It is becoming widely accepted that the arguments in favour of preservation of forestdwelling hunter/gatherers, wildlife, botanical genetic resources and potential future drug and medicinal plants are irrefutable and the governments of some developing countries (e.g., Malaysia and Kenya) have expressed their willingness to increase efforts to protect such resources and have created environmental agencies. But the only certain way we have of ensuring that these designated biotic preserves will be protected in practice is by increasing support for rural and agricultural development programmes in adjacent areas.

Foresters might regard some of the projects described here as agriculture rather than forestry projects, and it is precisely at that point that problems can arise. Foresters in the past, have tended to be highly parochial about defining what constitutes a forestry project and to assume that their responsibility starts and ends with the cultivation of forest trees in forest reserves. In fact, forestry investments are likely to comprise a relatively small proportion of many of the rural and agricultural development projects which will be needed to bring the current process of tropical deforestation under effective control. In the area of catchment and agri-forestry, in particular, foresters will have to be prepared to work more closely with agricultural settlement and other agencies, playing a complementary and supporting, rather than a predominant, role in the development process.

Concerning the World Bank's role in forestry projects, we are conscious of the fact that the Bank's efforts in this area can only be marginal and that the main impetus must come from within the developing countries themselves. Following publication of a Bank Forestry Sector Policy Paper in 1978, the Bank made a major shift in emphasis of forestry lending toward environmental and rural forestry, and set as a goal a five-fold increase in the level of forestry lending to achieve a target of US$500 million within the five year period 1979-83. The response of the developing countries' forestry services has been encouraging. Since 1978 we have made loans to forestry projects in about 35 different countries, and more than 60 percent of these have been for programmes aimed at environmental protection and provision of fuel wood, fodder, building poles and other forest products needed both for basic subsistence and development. The US$500 million lending target has been achieved somewhat ahead of schedule.

In future forestry lending. we intend to give special emphasis to watershed protection, renewable energy related reforestation programmes with fast-growing species, and to smallholder cash-crop tree farming in rural areas. Of the US$3 thousand million a year which the Bank is currently lending for agriculture and rural development, part will continue to be directed toward agricultural settlement and watershed protection. Although primarily aimed at reducing rural poverty, such settlement projects should make a contribution to preserving part of what remains of the world's tropical forest ecosystem.

Footnotes

1. See "Land use in Amazonia." Pacific Viewpoint (19), 1978.

2. See Pasture production in acid soils in the tropics. CIAT, 1978.

3. See Nos. 015 of 1963, 141 of 1964 and 216 of 1965; and articles 14 and 15 of Special Decree 2278 of 1953.

4. East African Agriculture and Forestry Research Organization located in Nairobi, Kenya.

5. Forest lands formerly under shifting cultivation now abandoned and which have reverted to a coarse grassland.

Exercise I Lecture on Agro-Forestry

Total Time: 2 hours

Overview

This new discipline in forestry is introduced and the concepts of agro-forestry as related to the Peace Corps Volunteer are presented. It is pointed out that this field, although not entirely new, is new in academic instruction of forestry as a sub-discipline, and as such there has not been many books written on the subject at this point in time. Perhaps those authors are present here as participants in this session.

Procedures

Time

Activities

 

1. Agro-forestry lecture: The following is an outline used by Bill Prentice, Agro-forester in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador. We present it along with his lecture as a guide for doing this important session.

Lecture: Agro Forestry

AGRO FORESTRY: A Possible Marriage

Page 1 (on newsprint) "Some ideas on integrated land usage" William E. Prentice, Puerto Napo, Napo, Ecuador

Page 2

- believe that it is right for a man to strive to better the world in which he lives. How?

Each tree you plant makes the world a better place.

As a PCV, you can have a great multiplier effect by teaching others to plant and care for trees.

Page 3

I. Combining "forestry" with agriculture and livestock.

- Possible combinations,

- Why do it?

- Overcoming resistance.

II. Selecting the Crops, Horticultural Trees and Animals.

- Animals,

- Fruit and nut trees,

- The birds and the trees,

- Fowl play

Page 4

Land usage: Production techniques

Forestry, Agro-Silvicultural, Silvo-Pastoral, Agro-Silvo-Pastoral, Agriculture, Livestock, Agro-Pastoral.

Page 5

Land usage-various possibilities Agricultural - Field Crop Monoculture

- Orchard monoculture

- Mixed cropping

- Polycultures

Forestry

- Reservations

- Conservation

- Plantation - single species

- Plantation - mixed species

Livestock

- Ranging

- Pasturage of paddocking

- Confinement

- Forage and feed storage

Agro-Silvicultural Animal under trees; regular distribution

- In relay sequence

- Permanent association

Animal under trees; irregular distribution,

Horticultural tree with forest trees.

Agro-Pastoral

- Grazing under trees (fruit and nuts)

- Grazing plant residues

- Fowl with resistant crops

- Pigs and fowl (self-harvesting)

Silvo-Pastoral

- Grazing under trees

- Planted forage

- For weed control

Agro-Silvo-Pastoral

- Annual + trees + animals

- Perennials + trees + animals

- Annuals + perennials + trees + animals.

Page 6

Why combine forestry and agriculture?

For greater and sustained production.

1. Economics

- greater income potential

- quicker income

- lessened risk

2. Ecological factors

- macro-ecology

- erosion control

- watershed improvement

- aesthetic and recreational value

3. Agricultural reasons

- soil enrichment troth chemical and structural

- shade

- vertical integration for better utilization of space

- reduced proliferation of pests and disease

- more even distribution of work load

4. Subsistence motive

Can feed one's family from the same land that is in tree production.

Page 7

Why does the small farmer resist planting trees?

1. No tradition of planting trees,

2. Accustomed to short range thinking,

3. Little investment capital - hand to mouth poverty,

4. Ignorance of the very good reasons why we should plant trees,

5. Very little suport for tree planting;

a. Lack of investigation on what species with which to plan possible integrated production techniques,

b. Compare tree planting with other land uses; often the tree planting requires less capital and may be just as quick an income producer,

c. Trees are security for old age. Do the hard work while one is young and strong,

d. Few people plant trees but those who do can expect a good return.

Personally

1. Make reference to the children: "In five years the baby will be in school. If you plant _ trees now, they will pay for his school expenses."

2. Expected life span

"Haste esto me muero!"

3. What provision does he have for his old age?

GET PERSONAL

Page 9

Selecting the crops, horticultural trees and animals.

Annual Crops

Cereals and pulses (legume crops like beans). Can the small farmer compete with machines? Vegetables, fruits and specialities. Labor intensive crops, when land is limited.

Lowlands

Harvest

Pineapple

moderate shade tolerant

18 months

Heavy feeder

Passion fruit

moderate shade tolerant

12 months

Let fruit drop

Black Pepper

moderate shade tolerant

18 months

Labor int. harvest

Papaya

Full Sun

9 months

Diff. to estate.

Plantain

Full Sun

8 months

Suspt. to nematodes

Tree Tomato

Shade Tolerant

12 months

Needs pampering

Naranjilla

Shade Tolerant

8 months

Needs pampering

Page 10

FRUIT AND NUT TREES

Name

Time to Harvest

Tree Size

Use

Management 1 to 5

Achiote

2 Years

Small

Red Dye

5

Cacao

3 years

Small

Chocolate

3

Cafe

2 years

Small

Coffee

3

Coconut

5 years

Medium

Nuts raw mat.

4

Citrus

2-3 grafted

Sm -Mea

Fruits

2-3

Guaba Inge

4 years

Med-Lrg

Fruit, wood feed

 

Guauaba

       
 

Psidium

3 - 4 years

Small

Food, Medicine

 
     

Feed

4-5

Frutipan

       
 

Autocorpus

       
   

Anona

5 years

Large

Food, Medicine

 
     

Feed

4-5

 

Guariabana

4 - 5 years

Sm or bled

Fruit (High Value)

3

Chonta

       
 

Guileria

       
   

Gaspides

5 years

Medium

Fruit, Palm

 
     

hearts, wood

4

Page 11

1. Make a list of possible crops to choose from and learn about each one,

2. Seek out local expertise and experience,

3. Do not jump to conclusions,

4. If the crop needs pampering in your area leave it alone,

5. Shade tolerance is related to soil fertility,

6. Grow what you like to grow.

Exercise II Agro-Forestry Plans

Total Time: 2 hours

Overview

In this exercise trainees' plans are critiqued. Based on lecture in the morning, realistic plans are discussed by trainer with each trainee. Suggestions are given to trainees for possible future use of plan or parts of plan.

Procedures

Time

Activities

 

1. Trainees are divided into groups according similarity of climatic conditions at their future work sites. Trainers return site plans to trainees with notes and they are discussed by trainer (the reason for doing this in groups is that each trainee has something to contribute). Some of the agroforestry papers recieved during pilot program are enclosed here for samples.

Trainer's Note: It -is important that each trainee discuss his/her paper and that trainer responds to it. This may require a second round in the afternoon and possibly the evening.

AGROFORESTRY ( for Southern Manabi )

One of the biggest problems the province of Manabi as a whole faces is one of lack of water. For agriculture, most areas must use irrigation. There are some areas that do not even have a permanent water source. In these areas agriculture is impossible and the focus here is to plant trees to control soil erosion, for forage and wood and especially for firewood and charcoal.

In those areas where irrigation is needed and possible, an agroforestry program can yet more use from irrigating the same area. A profitable crop and a usable tree can be planted together and they will receive twice the benefits.

There are many different schemes possible:

One example might be using Tamarindo with Sandia. Tamarindo is becoming more scarce and an effort is being made to plant more. Although not extremely drought resistant, it is being planted in the drier regions .

Tamarindo produces a fruit which is marketable, the flowers and leaves can he used for seasoning, varnish can he extracted from the seeds, and the hark produces chemicals for the tanning of skins. Overall it is a fairly profitable tree. Tamarindo requires fairly good soils, deep, and well aerated. It also prefers flat areas over slopes. It grows to about 12 meters in height and provides a lot of shade.

Tamarindo should be transplanted to a plantation when the plant is 50 - 60cm tall. Pots are utilized in the nursery.

The spacing of Tamarindo is 8x8 meters or possibly 10x10 meters .

A second crop can be planted between the rows - Sandia has been suggested as a second crop to use. In this way the farmer has two marketable crops available.

One of the drawbacks of this plan is the fact that for two years no other crop can be planted and the farmer has no income from that area for two years.

Other possibilities for agroforestry in the Province of Manabi include the planting of legumes, acacias with crops. They have deep root systems and many fix nitrogen which would improve the secondary crop.

Another example is the algarrobo (Prosopis jutiflora) which has been planted with corn in the first year. After that, the algarrobo takes over and the corn cannot compete for nutrients and hence does not survive. This is a good system if the landowner wants to plant algarrobo for use as forage. In this way until the trees become large enough to he used for forage, the area can he used to produce corn. Algarrobo is a good tree to plant because the leaves and the seed can be used for forage by animals. The Seeds can be stored and used during the extremely dry seasons as food for the animals and the wood makes excellent firewood.

For plantation purposes it shoud be planted at 15x15 meters or at 10x10 meter intervals.

Peace Corps Volunteer Anne Wagner

contributed this article.

AN AGRO-FORESTRY PLAN FOR THE AREA AROUND QUININDE, ECUADOR

Agro-forestry is a production system that suplies wood, agricultural crops, and/or animal products from a single management unit. In a productive agro-forestry system, good agricultural practices are combined with the efficient use of trees.

A multitude of factors must be considered when planning an agro-forestry system. Primary consideration must be given to the area's climate, topography, soil fertility, land tenure, proximity to markets, and present and future population pressures. The agro-forestry plan should also include methods for soil and water conservation and techniques for producing food and wood during the entire year it possible.

Crops selected for use should be diversified to reduce the risk of infestation by insects or disease. Chosen crops should have relatively low nutrient requirements and be easily stored. An emphasis should he placed on the production of animal protein from plant products and forage that are of no direct use to man, (i.e., leaves, etc).

In tropical rainforest ecosystems, trees are critical to the stability of the landscape. Trees are necessary in nutrient cycling because rainwater percolating during wet seasons deposits soil nutrients at a depth that only tree roots can reach. Thus, over time, trees can rejuvenate a soil that has been badly drained of its nutrients.

Today in many parts of the tropics man is producing crops on land better suited for tree cover. An agro-forestry system can remain productive throughout the entire year, resist infestation of parasites, and disease, maintain the quality of the soil and minimize soil erosion.

The micro-climate contained within the tropical agro-forestry system are modified by tree cover, and minerals and nutrients can be recycled by natural processes that utilize organic matter from living or dead tropical plants, and manure from livestock. Thus, a tropical agroforestry system, besides conserving the tropical ecosystem, could potentially yield: seeds, flowers, fruits, vegetables, leaves, medicines, resins, forage, firewood, lumber and meat.

My plan for an agro-forestry system is based on the tropical rainforest area around Quininde, a town in Esmeraldas province in northwest Ecuador. Quininde receives over 8() inches of rain annually with a heavy rain season lasting from February through April. While still containing much valuable timber, the rainforests surrounding Quininde are being rapidly stripped. Very little forestation is taking place.

The major cash crops grown around the Quininde area are coffee, cocoa, bananas and rice. Oranges, pineapples and grapefruit are also grown. Many of the large haciendas in the area utilize a great amount of land for cattle grazing. There are large haciendas of 500 to 1000 hectares as well as many small family farms of 5 to 10 hectares.

My purpose is to introduce the use of TECA (Tectona grandis) and Laurel (cordia alliodora), as companion species of timber to areas of coffee and cocoa production, as well as on pasture land.

Both Teca and Laurel are common timber species growing naturally in the Quininde area at this time. Both species produce very high quality, marketable timber. Their woods are used for doors, windows, furniture, boat decking, flooring and paneling.

Both species grow rapidly. Teca can reach 6 meters at two years, 10 meters at four years, and 15 meters at ten years of age. Both Teca and Laurel grow in wet soils, which are also suitable for coffee and cocoa.

Laurel has previously been shown to provide good shade for coffee and cocoa while simultaneously providing a good source of timer. Peter Weaver, in agri-silviculture in Tropical America, reported the natural regeneration of Cordia alliodora in a coffee plantation at Chinchona, Colombia. At maturity, the trees had a basal area of 20-30 m2/ha.

I have observed Teca growing very well on coffee and cocoa plantations near Quininde. Given Teca's enormous leaves, it should be a reasonabley good shade tree. I suggest using both Teca and Laurel in the agro-forestry system in order to prevent a single infestation of disease or parasites from destroying all of the trees present.

Thus, I would suggest to farmers in the Quininde area that they attempt to intercrop regularly Teca and Laurel with their stands of coffee and cocoa. It may also be possible, depending upon the distance between trees, and the crop species involved, to intercrop Teca and Laurel with other shade-tolerant crops. By helping to recycle minerals and nutrients in the tropical soil, the introduction of Teca and Laurel could increase crop yields.

Teca and Laurel forage could be used as animal feed and/or green manure. By scattering trees on pasture land, livestock would have more shaded areas and forage material available. The use of Teca and Laurel as "living fence posts" around pastures woud enclose livestock, providing forage and shade and decrease the necessity for cutting small trees as replacement for fence posts. There is a great deal of pasture land in the Quininde area.

The litterfall fo Teca and Laurel would add nutrients to the soil and could be used to fertilize family garden plots. Their presence would certainly help reduce soil erosion, which is now a very serious problem in the Quininde area due to the large numbers of trees being cut for timber and agricultural purposes.

For this system to be accepted by the campesinos in and around Quininde, a great deal of extension work will be needed to convince the people of the potential benefits. However, given the extensive timber market in the Quininde area, tree cropping with lucrative timber species should not be overly difficult to promote.

Existing cooperatives would have to be organized so that the entire cooperative is involved in the agro-forestry system. It might be beneficial to start new cooperatives as a means of developing agro-forestry on A community-wine basis. Nurseries should be developed in cooperatives or communities that are utilizing an agro-forestry system, so that the campesinos will have a permanent supply of seedlings and will learn more about forestry.

Special cases may require a great deal of expensive resources in order to maintain an agroforestry system. For example, expensive fungicides may be needed to fight fungi that are invading a nursery or a stand of trees. Thus, it is important to consider possible lines of credit or other forms of aid that are available to rural farmers.

Peace Corps Volunteer Daniel Saxon

contributed this article.