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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Adoption potentials and barriers of silvopastoral system in Colombia: Case of Cundinamarca region

Lee, Seonhwa; Bonatti, Michelle; Loehr, Katharina; Palacios, Vandree; Lana, Marcos A.; Sieber, Stefan


Silvopastoral system (SPS) is highlighted as an alternative to conventional cattle farming systems in Colombia, where deforestation, driven by extensive cattle farming, is a severe environmental issue. However, despite its considerable benefits, adoption of SPS remains very limited in Colombia. Thus, the objective of this work is to investigate the potential for scaling up the adoption of SPS by identifying the barriers perceived by farmers, using a case study of tropical land at a high altitude over 2400 m in Cundinamarca department, Colombia. Qualitative research methodology is used in accordance with the conceptual framework constructed on the basis of adoption theories and literature reviews. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 27 farmers managing cattle farming. The results show that while farmers perceive numerous benefits of SPS, it is perceived as highly risky due to climate conditions. Additionally, concerns about long-term investments necessary to obtain benefits from SPS as well as its high complexity are discouraging. Furthermore, low compatibility due to the socio-economic barriers and traditional belief regarding trees in pasture are also verified as an external barrier for adopting SPS practices. In this context, the enabling conditions for scaling-up SPS adoption in the study area are discussed: strengthening farmers' motivation with provision of long-term extension services and transforming the conventional concept of tree removal as well as the appropriate project designs given farmers' socio-economic conditions and the adequate selection of tree species.


agroforestry; adoption; perception; qualitative research

Published in

Cogent Environmental Science
2020, Volume: 6, number: 1, article number: 1823632

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


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