The process of a participatory tree domestication project in Meru, Kenya

Although participatory research methodologies have been widely advocated, most projects do not involve the radical reversal of approach implied. Though defined in theory, participatory research is hard to implement and more precise description is therefore required at the practical level. Here, we describe a participatory research project on agroforestry tree domestication undertaken in the Meru area of Kenya. Continuous interaction between participants allowed the project to evolve from a tree species suitability test, to a species saturation study, and finally to a perception of tree species diversity survey. By allowing evolution through interaction, research results more relevant to the actual needs of farmers were obtained.