Guidelines for Training in Rapid Appraisal for Agroforestry Research and Extension

Amelioration Of Soil By Trees

image of Guidelines for Training in Rapid Appraisal for Agroforestry Research and Extension

These guidelines are for training research and extension personnel in rapid appraisal methods for development of agroforestry in peasant land use systems. The guidelines are illustrated through reference to a training and research exercise where an agropastoral farming system in Shurugwi Communal Area, Zimbabwe was appraised in 1998.

Four key principles underlie the methods used:

• agroforestry interventions are identified and developed through working with and learning from farmers and the local community, as well as through conventional research assessment – “interactive research”

• interactive research is best learned through real application not lectures or classroom exercises and simulations – “learning by doing”

• “interdisciplinary” is a key to successful interactive research

• agroforestry interventions are developed from an understanding of constraints and conflicts existing within the rural community over access to production resources




In the training programme participants may come from different countries and a variety of institutions, have diverse professional backgrounds, and consequently varying expectations of the course. Yet during the course people shall be working in groups and will frequently need to reach consensuses. The orientation step is an opportunity for all to introduce themselves and to achieve agreement and mutual understanding on how to proceed.


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