Successful agroforestry extension programs

Field training combined with trials and relevant extension material helped farmers gain an understanding of effective silvicultural management in Central Java, Indonesia.

Assessing key extension methods in the uptake of fodder shrubs in East Africa.

  1. Over the period 1995-2005, the number of farmers planting fodder shrubs in East Africa grew from a few thousand to over 200,000 and has increased substantially since then. Franzel & Wambugu (2007), Place et al. (2009) and Franzel et al. (2011) document the contributions of five extension approaches that played an important role in facilitating this expansion, namely:
    1. ‘Innovation facilitators’ recruited by projects to work with government, NGO, and private extension services;
    2. Large NGOs with considerable technical backup;
    3. Community-based seed systems;
    4. Farmer-to-farmer dissemination; and
    5. A civil society campaign.

Strengthening smallholder tree-growing skills in Indonesia.

On Java Island in Indonesia 1.5 million smallholder farmers manage 444,000 ha of teak agroforestry systems but productivity is low. The establishment of farmer demonstration trials (Roshetko et al., 2005) showed that thinning and pruning could dramatically increase tree growth over two years. Those trials, combined with training and relevant extension materials, helped farmers gain an understanding of effective silvicultural management. Impact surveys found that 70% of the farmers in the project area increased their knowledge of silvicultural practices, with 50% adopting them on their own farms and 30% disseminating them to other farmers (Roshetko et al., 2013c).


Franzel, S. & Wambugu, C. (2007). The uptake of fodder shrubs among smallholders in East Africa: Key elements that facilitate widespread adoption. In: Hare, M. and Wongpichet, K. (eds) Forages: A pathway to prosperity for small farmers. Proceedings of an International Symposium, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand. 203-222.

Franzel, S., Wambugu, C. and Place, F. (2011). Effective extension approaches for natural resource management practices. The uptake of fodder shrubs in East Africa. Paper presented at the University of Leeds Conference on Food Security, June, 2011.

Place, F., Rootheart, R., Maina, L., Franzel, S. Sinja, J., and Wanjiku. (2009). The impact of fodder trees on milk production and income among smallholder dairy farmers in East Africa and the role of research ICRAF Occasional Paper No. 12. Nairobi: World Agroforestry Centre.

Roshetko, J.M., Purnomosidhi, P., Mulawarman. (2005). Farmer Demonstration Trials (FDTs): promoting tree planting and farmer innovation in Indonesia. In: Gonsalves, J., Becker, T., Braun, A., Caminade, J., Campilan, D., De Chavez, H., Fajber, E., Kapiriri, M., Vernooy, R (eds) Participatory research and development for sustainable agriculture and natural resource management: a sourcebook. International Potato Center, Laguna, Philippines, International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome, pp 384–392.

Roshetko, J.M., Rohadi, D., Perdana, A., Sabastian, G., Nuryartono, N., Pramono, A.A., Widyani N., Manalu P., Fauzi, M.A., Sumardamto, P., Kusumowardhani, N. (2013c). Teak agroforestry systems for livelihood enhancement, industrial timber production, and environmental rehabilitation. Forests, Trees, and Livelihoods 22 (4): 251-256