Farmer Experimentation and Innovation

A case study of knowledge generation processes in agroforestry systems in Rwanda













Table of Contents


by Christoffel den Biggelaar

The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concern-ing the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction, should be addressed to the Director, Information Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FAO 1996

Table of Contents


Preface

Author's Note

Executive Summary

Chapter 1

Background

Introduction

Description of Rwanda

History of tree growing practices in Rwanda

Research questions

Overview of the case study

Chapter 2

Methods

Choice of study area

Selection and training of research assistants

Sample selection

Biographical case studies on the history of agroforestry

Participant observation and guided farm tours

Socio-economic characteristics of tree experts and comparison farmers

Focus group interviews

Chapter 3

Characteristics of the Study Areas

Maraba

Karama

Land and tree tenure

Chapter 4

Socio-economic Differences Between flee Experts

Demographic characteristics

Education

Employment and community functions

Resources: farm labour

Resources: land

Resources: animals

Chapter 5

Farmers' Perspectives on Indigenous Agroforestry Practices

Agroforestry: historical and contemporary viewpoints

Reasons for practising agroforestry

Tree planting and gender

Tree planting possibilities in relation to farm size

The future of farming and agroforestry: solutions proposed by the audience

Potential locations of trees within the farm

Species diversity in indigenous agroforestry systems

Farm size, species diversity and tree density

Use of tree species

Chapter 6

Farmer Experimentation: Building Knowledge

What is knowledge and how is it obtained?

Agroforestry knowledge and gender

Is knowledge about trees essential for tree planting and agroforestry activities?

Farmer experimental practices

The tree experts' species trial: studying farmer experimentation in action

Farmers' reactions to a new, unknown species: a hypothetical scenario

Farmers' approach to testing and evaluating tree species experiments

Chapter 7

Building Knowledge Through Information Gathering and Sharing

Introduction

Active searches for new information: travel to other places

Passive acquisition of new ideas from farm visitors

Sharing information and experiences about new technologies and farm problems

Relationships with research, extension and development agencies: access to and on-farm testing of new technologies

Chapter 8

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

Methodological issues related to the identification of local tree experts

Farmers' perspectives of agroforestry and tree planting practices

Farmer experimentation: a comparison of methods and procedures with scientific research

Enhancing local communication networks: the key for advancing agroforestry knowledge production and farmer experimental practices

Research questions requiring future investigation

Conclusion

Appendix

Glossary

French words

Kinyarwanda words

Definition of terms

Acronyms and abbreviations

Bibliography


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