Human and Institutional Dimensions of Agroforestry

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Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

North American Agroforestry: Third Edition



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This chapter addresses the human and institutional dimensions of agroforestry, framed by sustainable livelihoods, the assets that decision makers possess or can access, and the values and relationships that influence the decisions to adopt agroforestry practices that fit with the goals of farmers and family businesses. It also addresses how the field of social relations, institutions, and organizations emerges in support of the practice of agroforestry. To achieve resilience through agroforestry, it is necessary to understand how an agroforestry practice "fits" with a livelihood strategy, how it diversifies the household portfolio, and what are the multiple benefits it provides to humans and the environment. Landowner and farm operator surveys in Missouri asked specific questions about interest in, knowledge of, and adoption of the initial five agroforestry practices. While adoption of agroforestry remains low adoption rates are higher in regions that have organizations actively engaged in agroforestry education and extension, as is the case of Missouri.


Agroforestry adoption, Decision makers, Human dimensions, Institutional dimensions, Landowners


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