A framework for understanding agroforestry decision making at the farm household-level
James H. French
A framework for analysis of farm-level decision making is proposed where the farm household is used as the primary unit of analysis. Each household has a unique set of socioeconomic and biophysical conditions. The authors suggest that agricultural investment and production decisions are evaluated by farmers, landowners and agricultural entrepreneurs based on key external factors including: 1) availability and access to markets; 2) availability and access to support services; 3) availability and access to scientific and indigenous knowledge; and 4) presence of policies, rules and regulations.
It should be noted that the household is not the only level in a hierarchy of decision making. For example, if one desegregates the household into individual members, it is possible to analyze gender roles and their impact on decision making. Moving upward in the decision making hierarchy, the community, the watershed, the province and even the country may be viewed as the unit of analysis.
This paper will focus on the farm household as the primary unit of analysis. This is because the household is the level at which all farm resource allocation decisions are made. This process requires a holistic perspective, since many factors play a role. Within the farm household On Farm Factors (Part I) play an important role in the decision making process. These decisions are called Farm Management Decisions (Part II). A large spectrum of Off-Farm Factors (Part III) can influence this decision making. This framework can be a guideline for analyzing farm household decisions and promoting agroforestry development.
1. Part I: On-farm factors
2. Part II: Farm Management Decisions
3. Part III: Off-farm factors