Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-x5gtn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-30T22:14:59.164Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Drivers of farmers’ decisions to adopt agroforestry: Evidence from the Sudanian savanna zone, Burkina Faso

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 July 2017

L. Sanou
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique, INERA, Département Environnement et Forêts, 03 BP 7047, Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso Unité de Formation et de Recherche en Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre/Laboratoire de Biologie et Ecologie Végétales (UFR/SVT), Université Ouaga I Pr Joseph Ki-Zerbo
P. Savadogo*
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), West and Central Africa Regional Office - Sahel Node, BP E5118, Bamako, Mali
Eugene E. Ezebilo
Property Development Program, National Research Institute, P.O. Box 5854 Boroko, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
A. Thiombiano
Unité de Formation et de Recherche en Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre/Laboratoire de Biologie et Ecologie Végétales (UFR/SVT), Université Ouaga I Pr Joseph Ki-Zerbo


In most developing countries, there has been a long-standing conflict of interest between using land for agriculture and the conservation of biodiversity. This paper reports on a study of factors influencing farmers’ decisions to integrate trees into their agricultural practice. We also discuss the possibility of protecting and managing planted and naturally regenerating trees on farmland in order to restore degraded land and improve biodiversity. Data were collected from interviews with farmers in the Center-West region of Burkina Faso and analyzed using Principal Component Analysis, multiple linear regression and binary logistic regression. The results show that farmers’ decisions to incorporate trees into their farmland were mainly influenced by silvicultural knowledge and skills, participation in farmers’ groups or other social organizations with an interest in tree conservation, the social value of biodiversity in the rural landscape, and the perceived economic benefits of trees on farmland. The most important factors associated with variation in levels of motivation to conserve trees on farms included household wealth, gender, age, education level, marital status, residence status, farmland size, household size and technical support. We conclude that an agroforestry project will be more successful if the local biophysical conditions and diversity of smallholder socio-economic characteristics and their perceptions, needs and preferences are considered in its design. There is also an immediate need for coordinated development of information and training to raise local community awareness of the potential of agroforestry as well as to disseminate information about adding value to tree products in order to encourage farmers to protect on-farm trees.

Research Paper
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Acharya, K.P. 2006. Linking trees on farms with biodiversity conservation in subsistence farming systems in Nepal. Agroforestry and Biodiversity conservation: Traditional practices, present dynamics, and lessons for the future. Biodiversity and Conservation 15(2):631646.Google Scholar
Adewuyi, H.G. 2006. Agroforestry practices and species preference in Kano State. Potentials for improvement. Production Agriculture and Technology (PAT) 2:24.Google Scholar
Agresti, A. 1996. An Introduction to Categorial Data Analysis. 2nd ed. Wiley-Interscience a John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Publication, New Jersey, United States. 392 p.Google Scholar
Allendorf, T., Swe, K.K., Oo, T., Htut, Y., Aung, M., Aung, M., Allendorf, K., Hayek, L.A., Leimgruber, P., and Wemmer, C. 2006. Community attitudes toward three protected areas in Upper Myanmar (Burma). Environmental Conservation 33(4):344352.Google Scholar
Arnold, M. and Townson, I. 1998. Assessing the potential of forest product activities to contribute to rural incomes in Africa. Natural Resource Perspectives no 37, November 1998. Overseas Development Institute, London, UK.Google Scholar
Bationo, A., Hartemink, A., Lungu, O., Naimi, M., Okoth, P., and Thiombiano, L. 2006. Africa soils: Their Productivity and Profitability of Fertilizer Use. Background paper prepared for the African Fertilizer Summit, Abuja, Nigeria.Google Scholar
Bayala, J. 2002. Trees crown pruning as management tool to enhance the productivity of parkland in West Africa. PhD thesis, School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, UK. 207 p.Google Scholar
Bayala, J., Kindt, R., Belem, M., and Kalinganire, A. 2011. Factors affecting the dynamics of tree diversity in agroforestry parklands of cereal and cotton farming systems in Burkina Faso. New Forests 41:281296.Google Scholar
Bayala, J., Sanou, J., Teklehaimanot, Z., Kalinganire, A., and Ouédraogo, S.J. 2014. Parklands for buffering climate risk and sustaining agricultural production in the Sahel of West Africa. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 6:2834.Google Scholar
Bayala, J., Sanou, J., Teklehaimanot, Z., Ouedraogo, S.J., Kalinganire, A., Coe, R., and Van Noordwijk, M. 2015. Advances in knowledge of processes in soil-tree-crop interactions in parkland systems in the West African Sahel: A review. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 205:2535.Google Scholar
Boffa, J.M. 2000. Les parcs agroforestiers en Afrique de l'Ouest: clés de la conservation et d'une gestion durable. Unasylva, 51:1117.Google Scholar
Bourne, M., Kimaiyo, J., Tanui, J., Catacutan, D., and Otiende, V. 2015. Can gender appreciation of trees enhance landscape multifunctionality? A case of smallholder farming systems on Mount Elgon. International Forestry Review 17(4):3345.Google Scholar
Breman, H. and Kessler, J.J. 1995. The Role of Woody Plants in Agro-Ecosystems of Semi-arid Regions: With an Emphasis of the Sahelian Countries. Advanced Series in Agricultural Sciences, vol. 23. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
Bryman, A. and Cramer, D. 2005. Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS 12 and 13. A Guide for Social Scientists. Routledge, East Sussesx.Google Scholar
Buyinza, M. and Ntakimanyire, A. 2008. Rotational Woodlot Technology in Kigorobya Sub-County, Hoima District, Uganda. Botany Research Journal 1(2):3642.Google Scholar
Clason, D.L., and Dormody, T.J. 1994. Analyzing data measured by individual Likert-type items. Journal of Agricultural Education 35:3135.Google Scholar
Coulibaly-Lingani, P., Tigabu, M., Savadogo, P., Oden, P.C., and Ouadba, J.-M. 2009. Determinants of access to forest products in southern Burkina Faso. Forest Policy and Economics 11:516524.Google Scholar
Coulibaly-Lingani, P., Savadogo, P., Tigabu, M., Odén, P.C., and Ouadba, J.M. 2010. Factors influencing people's participation in forest management program in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Forest Policy and Economics 13:292302.Google Scholar
De Leeuw, J., Njenga, M., Wagner, B., and Iiyama, M. 2014. Treesilience: An Assessment of the Resilience Provided by Trees in the Drylands of Eastern Africa. ICRAF, Nairobi, Kenya. 166 pp.Google Scholar
Dovies, D.B.K., Witkowski, E.T.F., and Shackleton, C. 2004. The fuelwood crisis in southern Africa – relating fuelwood use to livelihoods in rural village. Geographical Journal 60:123133.Google Scholar
Etongo, D., Djenontin, I.N.S., Kanninen, M., and Fobissie, K. 2015. Smallholders' tree planting activity in the Ziro Province, Southern Burkina Faso: Impacts on Livelihood and Policy Implications. Forest 6:26552677.Google Scholar
Ezebilo, E.E. 2012. Community forestry as perceived by local people around Cross River National Park, Nigeria. Environmental Management 49:207218.Google Scholar
Ezebilo, E.E. and Mattsson, L. 2010. Contribution of non-timber forest products to livelihoods of communities in southeast Nigeria. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 17:231235.Google Scholar
FAO 2003. Wood energy. Unasylva Series No.211:53. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. p. 60.Google Scholar
Fontès, J. and Guinko, S. 1995. Carte de la végétation et de l'occupation des sols du Burkina Faso. Ministère de la Coopération Française : projet campus (88 313 101), Toulouse, France. p. 67.Google Scholar
Franzel, S. 1999. Socioeconomic factors affecting the adoption potential of improved tree fallows in Africa. Agroforestry Systems 47:305321.Google Scholar
Franzel, S., Denning, G.L., Lillesø, J.P.B., and Mercado, A.R. Jr 2004. Scaling up the impact of agroforestry: Lessons from three sites in Africa and Asia. Agroforestry Systems 61:329344.Google Scholar
Garrity, D.P. and Stapleton, P. 2011. More trees on farms. Farm Matters 27(2):89.Google Scholar
Giannini, A., Biasutti, M., and Verstraete, M.M. 2008. A climate model-based review of drought in the Sahel: Desertification, the re-greening and climate change. Global and Planetary Change 64:119128.Google Scholar
Grolleau, A. 1989. Contribution à l’étude de la multiplication végétative par greffage du karité (Vitellaria paradoxa Gaertn. f.=Butyrospermum paradoxum Hepper). Bois et Tropiques 222:3840.Google Scholar
Hachoofwe, E.M. 2012. Local ecological knowledge of trees on farms, constraints and opportunities for further integration in Tigray Region, northern Ethiopia: A case study of smallholder farmers in Abreha Wa Atsbeha and Adi gudom. Master of Science (Msc) in Agroforestry, School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography Bangor University, Wales. 72p.Google Scholar
Hair, J.F.J., Anderson, R.E., Tatham, R.L., and Black, W.C. 1998. Multivariate Data Analysis, 5th ed. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.Google Scholar
Horn, J.L. 1965. A rationale and test for the number of factors in factor analysis. Psychometrika 30:179185.Google Scholar
Hulme, M. 1996. Recent climatic change in the world's drylands. Geophysical Research Letters 23:6164.Google Scholar
Iiyama, M., Derero, A., Kelemu, K., Muthuri, C., Kinuthia, R., Ayenkulu, E., Kiptot, E., Hadgu, K., Mowo, J., and Sinclair, F.L. 2017. Understanding patterns of tree adoption on farms in semi-arid and sub-humid Ethiopia. Agroforestry Systems 91:271293.Google Scholar
INSD 2007. Résultats préliminaires du recensement général de la population et de l'habitatde 2006. In: Institut National des Statistiques et de la Démographie (INSD). Direction de la démographie, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.Google Scholar
Jamala, G.Y., Shehu, H.E., Yidau, J.J., and Joel, L. 2013. Factors influencing adoption of Agro-Forestry among Smallholder Farmers in Toungo, Southeastern, Adamawa State, Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology And Food Technology 6:6672.Google Scholar
Jerneck, A. and Olsson, L. 2013. More than trees! Understanding the agroforestry adoption gap in subsistence agriculture: Insights from narrative walks in Kenya. Journal of Rural Studies 32:114125.Google Scholar
Kagambega, F.W., Thiombiano, A., Traoré, S., Zougmoré, R., and Boussim, I.J. 2011. Survival and growth responses of Jatropha curcas L. to three restoration techniques on degraded soils in Burkina Faso. Annales of Forest Science 54(2):171184.Google Scholar
Kaiser, H. 1974. An index of factorial simplicity. Psychometrika 39:3136.Google Scholar
Karekezi, S. and Majoro, L. 2002. Improving modern energy services for African's urban poor. Energy Policy 30:10151028.Google Scholar
Keil, A., Zeller, M., and Franzel, S. 2005. Improved fallows in smallholder maize production in Zambia: Do initial testers adopt the technology? Agroforestry Systems 64: 225236.Google Scholar
Kiptot, E. and Franzel, S. 2012. Gender and agroforestry in Africa: A review of women's participation. Agroforestry Systems 84:3558. DOI: 10.1007/s10457-011-9419-y.Google Scholar
Krishna, A., Kristjanson, P., Radeny, M., and Nindo, W. 2004. Escaping poverty and becoming poor in twenty Kenyan villages. Journal of Human Development 5:211226.Google Scholar
Kristensen, M. and Balslev, H. 2003. Perceptions, use and availability of woody plants among the Gourounsi in Burkina Faso. Biodiversity and Conservation 12(8):17151739.Google Scholar
Lugandu, S., Dulla, H., Ngotio, D., and Mkomwa, S. 2012. The extent of adoption of conservation agriculture with trees by smallholder farmers in Tanzania. Working paper adoption. p. 40.Google Scholar
Mahapatra, A.K. and Mitchell, C.P. 2001. Classifying tree planters and non-planters in subsistence farming system using a discriminant analytical approach. Agroforestry Systems 52(1):4152.Google Scholar
Maranz, S. and Wiesman, Z. 2003. Evidence for indigenous selection and distribution of the Shea tree, Vitellaria paradoxa, and its potential significance to prevailing parkland savanna tree patterns in sub-Saharan Africa north of the equator. Journal of Biogeography 30:15051516. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2699.2003.00892.x.Google Scholar
Meijer, S.S., Catacutan, D., Ajayi, O.C., Sileshi, G.W., and Nieuwenhuis, M. 2015. The role of knowledge, attitudes and perceptions in the uptake of agricultural and agroforestry innovations among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 13:4054.Google Scholar
Mekonnen, A. and Köhlin, G. 2009. Determinants of household fuel choice in major cities in Ethiopia. Working papers in Economics Numero399, Department of Economics, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.Google Scholar
Ndayambaje, J.D. 2013. Trees and woodlots in Rwanda and their role in fuelwood supply. PhD thesis, Wageningen University, Wageningen.Google Scholar
Nuggehalli, R.K. and Prokopy, L.S. 2009. Motivating factors and facilitating conditions explaining women's participation in co-management of Sri Lankan forest. Forest Policy and Economics 11:288293.Google Scholar
Oino, P. and Mugure, A. 2013. Farmer-oriented factors that influence adoption of agroforestry practices in Kenya: Expériences from Nambale District, Busia County. International Journal of Science and Research 450456.Google Scholar
Omuregbee, F.E. 1998. Communication of improved farm practices to rural women farmers in Benue State, Nigeria. Outlook on Agric. 27:5356.Google Scholar
Pallant, J. 2013. SPSS Survival Manual: A Step by Step Guide to Data Analysis using IBM SPSS, 5th ed. The McGraw Hill companies, England p. 353.Google Scholar
Pattanayak, S.K., Mercer, D.E., Sills, E., and Yang, J.-C. 2003. Taking stock of agroforestry adoption studies. Agroforestry Systems 57:173186.Google Scholar
Pearce, D.W. 2001. The economic value of forest ecosystems. Ecosystems Health 7(4):284296.Google Scholar
Peng, C.J., Lee, K.L., and Ingersol, G.M. 2002. An introduction to logistic regression: Analysis and reporting. Journal of Educational Research 96:114.Google Scholar
Phiri, D., Franze, L.S., Mafongoya, P., Jere, I., Katanga, R., and Phiri, S. 2004. Who is using the new technology? The association of wealth status and gender with the planting of improved tree fallows in Eastern Province, Zambia. Agricultural Systems 79:131144.Google Scholar
Reij, C. and Garrity, D. 2016. Scaling up farmer-managed natural regeneration in Africa to restore degraded landscapes. Biotropica 48:834843.Google Scholar
Reij, C. and Winterbottom, B. 2015. Scaling Up Regreening: Six Steps to Success. World Resources Institute, Washington DC, United States, p. 66, ISBN 978-1-56973-861-0.Google Scholar
Sah, J.P. and Heinen, J.T. 2001. Wetland resource use and conservation attitudes among indigenous and migrant peoples in Ghodaghodi Lake area, Nepal. Environmental Conservation 28:345356.Google Scholar
Salam, M.A., Noguchi, T., and Koike, M. 2000. Understanding why farmers plant trees in the homestead agroforestry in Bangladesh. Agroforestry Systems 50:7793.Google Scholar
Sawadogo, L. 2009. Influence de facteurs anthropiques sur la dynamique de la végétation des forêts classées de Laba et de Tiogo en zone soudanienne du Burkina Faso. Thèse d'Etat, Université de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. p. 142.Google Scholar
Scherr, S.J. 1992. The role of extension in agroforestry development: Evidence from western Kenya. Agroforestry Systems 18:4768.Google Scholar
Shono, K., Ernesto, A., Cadaweng, E.A., and Durst, P.B. 2007. Application of assisted natural regeneration to restore degraded tropical forestlands. Review. Restoration Ecology, 620626.Google Scholar
Sinclair, F.L. and Walker, D.H. 1998. A utilitarian approach to the incorporation of local knowledge in agroforestry research and extension. In Buck, L.E., Lassole, J.P. and Fernandes, E.C.M. (eds.). Agroforestry in Sustainable Agricultural Systems. Lewis Publishers, New York, USA. p. 245278.Google Scholar
Sissoko, K., van Keulen, H., Verhagen, J., Tekken, V., and Battaglini, A. 2011. Agriculture, livelihoods and climate change in the West African Sahel. Regional Environmental Change 11:119125.Google Scholar
Sop, T.K., Kagambega, F.W., Bellefontaine, R., Schmiedel, U., and Thiombiano, A. 2012. Effects of organic amendement on early growth performance of Jatropha curcas L. on a severely degraded site in the Sub-Sahel. Agroforestry Systems 86:387399.Google Scholar
Tabachnick, B.G. and Fidell, L.S. 1996. Using Multivariate Statistics. Harper Collins College Publishers, New York.Google Scholar
Thangata, P. 1996. Resource poor farmers perception of agroforestry practices – a case study of Malawi. MSc dissertation, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.Google Scholar
Vodouhê, F.G., Coulibaly, O., Adégbidi, A., and Sinsin, B. 2010. Community perception of biodiversity conservation within protected areas in Benin. Forest Policy and Economics 12:505512.Google Scholar
Wunder, S., Börner, J., Shively, G., and Wyman, M. 2014. Safety nets, gap filling and forests: A global-comparative perspective. World Development 64(Suppl. 1):S29S42.Google Scholar
Zerihun, M.F., Muchie, M., and Worku, Z. 2014. Determinants of agroforestry technology adoption in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa Development Studies Research: An Open Access Journal 1(1):382394. DOI:10.1080/21665095.2014.977454.Google Scholar
Zougmoré, R., Guillobez, S., Kambou, N.F., and Son, G. 2000. Runoff and sorghum performance as affected by the spacing of stone lines in the semi-arid Sahelian Zone. Soil and Tillage Research 56:175183.Google Scholar
Zougmoré, R., Zida, Z., and Kambou, N.F. 2003. Role of nutrient amendments in the success of half-moon soil and water conservation practice in semi-arid Burkina Faso. Soil & Tillage Research 71:143149.Google Scholar
Supplementary material: File

Sanou supplementary material

Sanou supplementary material 1

Download Sanou supplementary material(File)
File 39.4 KB