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Agriculture Science Developments, 2(10) October 2013, Pages: 102-105

TI Journals
ISSN
2306-7527

Agriculture Science Developments


www.tijournals.com

Factors Affecting Agroforestry Acceptance Level by Framers


Rahim Maleknia *1, Zeynab Beyranvand 2, Javad Sosani 3, Kamran Adeli 4
1,2,3,4

Faculty of agriculture, Forestry Department, Lorestan University, Lorestan, Iran.

AR TIC LE INF O

AB STR AC T

Keywords:

Agroforestry is combination of trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock which can result in
elevated income of rural people and forest production along with conserving natural resources.
Agroforestry can act as a solution to address low land productivity and soil erosion. Economic
benefits and helping farmers to meet their food requirements. Since, agroforestry has different
tangible and intangible costs and benefit including environmental and financial, it may not be
adopted easily by farmers. Aim of this study is to examine social factors which affect farmers'
adaptation of agroforestry system in Azna region. Data was gathered using a questionnaire. Three
different acceptance levels of agroforestry were determined. Then, most important socio-economic
properties of farmers which effect on agroforestry acceptance were revealed. Results showed
significant correlations between acceptance levels of agroforestry with total agriculture area and
highest educational level of family. This correlation was negative for total agriculture area and was
positive for highest educational of family. Study clearly revealed that knowledge is an important
key for extension program and farmers with smaller farms size try to compensate their low
incomes with agroforestry program.

Agroforestry Systems
Acceptance Level
Economic properties
Social Properties

2013 Agric. sci. dev. All rights reserved for TI Journals.

1.

Introduction

Agroforestry is combination of trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock which can result in elevated income of rural people and forest
production along with conserving natural resources [1]. Agroforestry can act as a solution to address low land productivity and soil erosion.
Economic benefits [2; 3] and helping farmers to meet their food requirements [4] are of the most important and positive social and
economic aspects of this intensive land management system. Rural families' livelihood strategies encompass multiple objectives in
maximization of land utilization, like secure provision of food and subsistence goods, cash for purchase of goods and services and savings
for future needs [5]. Households choose a mix of activities that contributes most towards their multiple objectives and yields greatest utility.
Adaptation of this system by local people is critical step. During last decades, extension serviced have been tried to encourage increased
adaptation in different countries [6; 7]. Since, agroforestry has different tangible and intangible costs and benefit including environmental
and financial, it may not be adopted by farmers easily. In Some studies, agroforestry adoption was analyzed using financial cash flow or
benefit-cost techniques [7]. But, some factors other than cash flow or benefit cost may influence farmers' decisions for agroforestry
adoption. Some studies suggested that successful adoption depends on favorable convergence of technical, economic, institutional and
policy factors [8; 9]. [8] Suggested that farmer's income level and extension contact were two variables that significantly associate with
adoption of agroforestry by farmers. There was also a positive and significant correlation between adoption and scale of farming, total farm
size, socio status on land and type of agroforestry system in their study. [10] Found that gender of farmer, household size, education level is
most important affecting factors on agroforestry adoption. Another study also showed that adoption of agro-forestry projects is affected by
different factors including the characteristics of technology; individual and household characteristics of farmers; policies; and institutional
context within which the technology is disseminated, [11]. [12] Revealed that farmers adoption of agro-silviculture system is significantly
affected by the age, gender, farmers level of education, contact with extension staff, level of awareness and participation in agro-forestry
projects. Adoption of agroforestry practices by farmers can improve crop and livestock production [13]. To promote and agroforestry
adoption extension programs, these affecting factors must be known and extension offices and governmental organizations must be aware
about them. This awareness can result in better planning and extension of agroforestry programs, Because, information about farmers who
accept agroforestry as an alternative land use, help related organization to determine target framers group and planning extension plans
based their preferences and personal attributes.
Aim of this study is to examine social factors which affect farmers' adaptation of agroforestry system in study area.

* Corresponding author.
Email address: maleknia.r@lu.ac.ir

Factors Affecting Agroforestry Acceptance Level by Framers

103

Agri culture Scienc e Developments, 2(10) Oc tober 2013

2.

Methodology

2.1 Study area


This study was conducted in Azna. A region with 120 2, located in 28 km distance from Khoramabad in Lorestan Province [Fig.1]. Azna
consists of 11 villages and 4476 people live in this region.
Farming and poultry are major income resources of people. Agriculture area of Azna is around 6276 ha and most of these areas are rainfed
farms. People use forests and rangelands for woods including fuel wood, material woods and grazing for animals.

Fig. 1

2.2 Data Gathering


A group of framers were sampled in this study, including farmers who had agroforestry and common agriculture farms. The samples were
randomly selected from farmers of region. A questionnaire was designed to collect information in study. The Survey questionnaire was
chosen because it encourages high response rates, provides assistance to respondents and is suitable for complex questions. The
questionnaire was divided into two sections: personal characteristics including age, gender, marital status, education and income, opinions
of respondents about agroforestry systems. The question was posed to discover the acceptance level of agroforestry by farmers and
determine the most important factors which effect on this acceptance. "Agroforestry area to total agriculture area" [ATA] ratio was used as
index of agroforestry acceptance level. Three different levels of this index were determined including: low acceptance [ATA<0.1], medium
acceptance [0.1<ATA<0.3] and high acceptance level [ATA >0.3]. Statistical Package for Social Sciences [SPSS] was chosen to analyze
the data and correlation between ATA and socio-economical properties of farmers was determined. Descriptive analyses such as means and
frequencies were applied to obtain information on socio demographic and economic profiles.

3.

Results

3.1 Farmers' profiles


Table 1 shows farmers' profiles. As table shows, most of the farmers are in the range of above 60 years old [66.6%]. This age range
followed by the age class of 40-60 [26.7%]. The Younger class [<40 years old] consists 6.7% of farmers.
As table shows, 70 percent of farmers have no formal education and none of them have academic education. About 86 percent were male
and 13 percent were female. Majority of farmers earn an income of less than 50 million Tomans per year. Another income classes [50100, 100-150 and more than 150 million Tomans] consist same percentage.
Table 1: Farmers' Profiles
characteristics
Gender
Male
Female
Age
>60
40-60
<40

percentage
86.7
13.3
66.6
26.7
6.7

characteristics
Educational level
No Formal Education
School
Diploma
Academic Education

percentage

70
26.7
3.3
0

Rahim Maleknia et al.

104

Agricult ure Sci ence Developments , 2(10) October 2013

Regard to family members' educational level, more than 50 percent of family members are bachelor [fig.3]. Also, 10, 23.3 and 13.3 of
family members have educational level of school, diploma and M.Sc., respectively.

Fig. 2: farmers' income per year

Fig. 3: educational level of family members

Table 2 indicates the percentages of different ATA. As it shows, 70% of farmers who have accepted agroforestry as a land use option, are
in medium class. It is followed by low acceptance and high acceptance levels, respectively.

Table 2: Percentages of ATA


ATA
percentage
<0.1
0.20
0.1-0.3
0.73
>0.3
0.07

3.2. Correlation results


Table 3 presents the results of spearman's correlation coefficients between ATA with different socio-economic properties of farmers and
their significant levels. As table shows total agriculture area and the highest education level of family have significant influence on ATA.
Total agriculture area had effected on ATA index negatively. This means that farmers with smaller farms size have bigger ATA and vice
versa [r= -0.0662]. The highest educational level, but, had effected on ATA positively. This positive effect shows that even high
educational of family members other than owner can effect on agroforestry acceptance level [r=0.56].
Other variables including age, agroforestry income, family size, educational level of farmer, gender and access to governmental aids had no
significant correlation with ATA.
Table 3: Spearman's correlation between variables and ATA
Variable
Age
Total Agriculture Area

Coefficient
-0.179
-0.662**

Variable

Coefficient

Educational level

0.145

Gender

-0.254
-0.159

Agroforesry income

0.267

Access to governmental aids

Family size

0.07

educational level of family members

Family income per year

0.213

0.561**

**: represents significance at 1%

4.

Discussion

This study aims was to find the most effective factor on agfroforestry acceptance level. For this goal an index of agroforestry acceptance
level [ATA] was developed and correlation between this index and some socio-economical properties of farmers was determined. Farmers
decisions to adopt agroforestry practices in study area was significantly affected by total agriculture area [negatively] and the highest
educational level of family members [positively].our result about total agriculture area is different from [8]. They found a positive
significant correlation between scale of farming and total farm size with the acceptance of agroforestry practices. This difference can be
explained by aim and nature of agroforestry practices. It is clearly determined that agroforestry practice can improve income [5; Parmada et
al., 2011; 3]. It can be concluded that farmers with smaller farms size need more income and try to make this extra income via agroforestry

Factors Affecting Agroforestry Acceptance Level by Framers

105

Agri culture Scienc e Developments, 2(10) Oc tober 2013

practice. In another hand, farmers with bigger farms size more likely have high income and probably neglect agroforestry option. Our result
about family income can confirm this conclusion. As table 3 shows, there is no significant correlation between ATA and family income and
this variable probably resulted in this negative correlation. Different authors showed a positive and significant correlation between
educational level of farmers and agroforestry acceptance [10; 12]. But, in our study there was not this significant correlation. None of
farmers in this study had academic education and most of them [70%] had no formal education. So, this variable cannot important for
agroforestry practice acceptance. In another hand, agroforestry acceptance level was affected by the highest educational level of family
members, significantly and positively. Many studies [8; 10; 11; 12] indicated that level of awareness about agroforestry and educational
level can improve acceptance of agroforestry practices. It can be concluded that high educational level in family can act in same manner. In
fact, these high educated members of family can improve awareness of farmers about benefits and advantages of agroforestry systems and
in turn, result in high acceptance level for this land use option. There were no significant correlations between acceptance level of
agroforestry and some variables including age, gender, family size and family income per year. These variables have affected agroforesty
acceptance in some studies [10; 13].

5.

Conclusion

Awareness about agroforestry benefits and advantages can improve acceptance of this land use option. Training of farmers by the extension
staff of relevant governmental organization can result in higher acceptance level for agroforestry in study area. Increasing income due to
agroforestry practices along with extension programs can facilitate groforestry acceptance.
It is needed to consider agroforestry as an land use strategy by policy makers in the first step. Another step should be extension program to
increase farmers' awareness about agroforestry and its advantages.

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