chapter  4
16 Pages

An Assessment of Tropical Homegardens as Examples of Sustainable Local Agroforestry Systems

The need to include local knowledge in sustainable agricultural research and development has been increasingly recognized (Altieri, 1995; Madge, 1995; Sinclair and Walker, 1999). This has been particularly important in the tropics, where experience has demonstrated the shortcomings of introducing agricultural technologies that are not ecologically or culturally adapted to the local environment (NRC, 1993). In response to these negative results, many researchers in tropical areas have focused their attention on the potential of locally developed agroecosystems (Gliessman et al., 1981; Altieri and Anderson, 1986; Schulz et al., 1994). In addition to having positive agroecological qualities, locally developed agroecosystems can also provide insight into practices and extension strategies that are more acceptable and more easily adopted by farmers (Rocheleau, 1987).