On-farm testing and dissemination of agroforestry among slash-and-burn farmers in Nagaland, India

This paper describes the structure and impacts of a development project in Nagaland, India. The project was a large-scale experiment in participatory development that emphasised local technology based on farmer-led testing of agroforestry, where farmers themselves select agroforestry technologies, implement the field tests and assume responsibility for disseminating the results locally. This assessment suggests that agroforestry has spread rapidly and been primarily adopted on land that otherwise would have been used by traditional farmers for swidden agriculture. Thus, Nagaland appears to be on a path to intensifying its land use, based on agroforestry, which is likely to brake deforestation rates. The high rate of scaling up was due to an effective property rights system, access to a large and growing timber market, a continual process of internal monitoring and evaluation, provision of low-cost seeds and seedlings, and a participatory project strategy with interventions based on flexibility and community empowerment. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Agroforestry: Scaling Up the Impacts of Research