Agroforestry and Forestry in Sulawesi: Linking Knowledge with Action

Project Timeframe:
Mar 2012 to Jun 2017

Related country(s)



Global Affairs Canada and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry


Center for International Forestry Research | Winrock International | Operation Wallacea Terpadu | Universitas Hasanuddin | National Planning and Development Agency of Indonesia (Badan Perencanaan dan Pembangunan Nasional/Bappenas)


The island of Sulawesi, home to numerous and diverse animal and plant species found nowhere else in the world, is also facing numerous challenges:

  • Farmers mostly rely on a limited number of crops; this results in inconsistent income owing to global market volatility.
  • Research indicates that Sulawesi will experience substantial climate-change impact in the near future.
  • Legal and equity problems hinder local involvement in planning and management of community land. The poor and marginalized lack land titles and have little awareness about, or access to, channels for certification or clarification of land status.
  • Agroforestry and Forestry in Sulawesi: Linking Knowledge with Action (AgFor Sulawesi) has been designed to help address these issues through participatory and sustainable management of natural resources that enhances livelihoods, protects the environment and recognizes equity and diversity.

What is AgFor Sulawesi?

AgFor Sulawesi is a 5-year project working with local communities, civil society groups, conservation organizations, universities and governments to improve farmers’ incomes through agroforestry and natural resource management systems. The project addresses rural development challenges in Sulawesi by enhancing livelihoods and enterprises, improving governance and strengthening sustainable environmental management. Specifically, AgFor Sulawesi is helping to develop dynamic agroforestry systems.

Agroforestry combines agriculture and forestry. Trees that farmers want or need are grown in tandem with food crops and livestock. Experience has shown that agroforestry can improve farmers’ incomes and protect the environment.

Funded by Global Affairs Canada, AgFor Sulawesi started in 2011.

Where do we work?

AgFor Sulawesi works in the provinces of South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi and Gorontalo.

In South Sulawesi, the project works in Bantaeng, Bulukumba, Jeneponto and Gowa districts while in Southeast Sulawesi it operates in Konawe, Kolaka Timur and Konawe Selatan districts and Kendari city. In Gorontalo, the project focuses onGorontalo and Boalemo districts.

Harvesting time for farmers in Sulawesi. Photo by World Agroforestry Centre

What do we want to achieve?

The main goal is an increase in equitable and sustainable forestry and agroforestry-based incomes among poor farmers in Sulawesi.

To achieve this, AgFor Sulawesi focuses on three interlinked components, each with its own objective.

  1. The livelihoods component aims to improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers through the development and enrichment of sustainable and gender-equitable agroforestry and forestry systems.
  2. The governance component aims to increase equitable involvement of local communities in participatory governance of land use and natural resources at subdistrict and district levels.
  3. The environmental component aims to improve integrated management of landscapes and ecosystems by local stakeholders through enhanced capacity building.

How are we achieving the goal?

Component activities are designed to link all three. All project activities are gender aware and equitable. The livelihoods' component studies what farmers do, how they live and what they want. It trains farmers to develop and operate tree nurseries, improve the establishment and management of tree gardens, develop better understanding of, and links to, markets, produce better-quality products for which they receive higher prices, create agroforestry enterprises for farmers and improve management of landscapes.

The governance component works closely with local government agencies to help find ways to achieve more prosperity, fairness and harmoniously-managed lives and landscapes. It conducts governance training and studies land-use systems as well as links to environmental services, with a focus on women’s roles in ecosystem management. The component reviews schemes related to payments for environmental services and provides research results on technical issues related to plants, livelihoods and landscapes. These activities support government agencies to analyse their land tenure policies and procedures.

The environmental component implements vulnerability assessment methods, local environmental services’ surveys and reviews ecosystem management approaches. The component produces research results, manuals and guidelines, generates environmental management strategies and subsequently conducts environmental training events.

One of AgFor assisted farmers in Southeast Sulawesi cleaning up his seedlings. Photo by World Agroforestry Centre

Who benefits?

AgFor Sulawesi is benefiting groups of farmers and individuals who are committed to improving their livelihoods through improved governance of their landscapes and the natural environment. Women and underprivileged groups are a particular focus to ensure that all members of the community are heard and receive a fair share of benefits.

Civil society groups, local communities, conservation organizations and market/trading associations  benefit by working with AgFor Sulawesi as well. Everyone is gaining greater knowledge, increasing their skills and receiving other support to jointly achieve mutual goals.

Government agencies at all levels, particularly local and district levels, are benefiting from training and support towards livelihoods' enhancement, landscape/policy analyses and spatial planning.

Who do we work with?

The World Agroforestry Centre (legally constituted as the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry/ICRAF) is the lead implementing organization for the AgFor Sulawesi project. Main collaborating partners include the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Winrock International, the Operation Wallacea Terpadu, Universitas Hasanuddin, the National Planning and Development Agency of Indonesia (Badan Perencanaan dan Pembangunan Nasional/Bappenas)