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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

The Pattern and Process of Adoption and Scaling up: Variation in Project Outcome Reveals the Importance of Multilevel Collaboration in Agroforestry Development

Johansson, Karl-Erik; Axelsson, Robert; Kimanzu, Ngolia; Sassi, Samuel O.; Bwana, Eliza; Otsyina, Robert


Agroforestry is considered a subsistence system that balances the urgent need for food and income of small scale farmers with restoration and conservation of ecosystem services, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. The Vi Agroforestry Program aims to implement agroforestry as a means to alleviate poverty and increase resilience among the poorest smallholders. After seven years, the Vi Agroforestry Project in the Mara Region of Tanzania had an inter-village variation in the proportion of households with tangible surviving agroforestry trees ranging from 10%-90%. Using a multiple methods approach, this variation was analysed in relation to changes and differences among administrative districts and project zones regarding perceived barriers to agroforestry adoption, project interventions, governance and the chronology of the process. In districts and zones where collaboration among the project staff, government counterparts and other stakeholders had been established at multiple levels, more agroforestry trees survived and a larger proportion of households practiced agroforestry. The established collaboration made it possible to discover and consider opportunities and barriers to agroforestry development such as diverse stakeholder interests and perceptions. As a result, potential conflicts could be avoided and socially robust solutions developed, adapted and integrated into the local subsistence systems.


dissemination of agroforestry; adaptation; technology adoption; poverty alleviation; collaboration; social learning; sustainable development; farming system; participant observation

Published in

2013, Volume: 5, number: 12, pages: 5195-5224
Publisher: MDPI AG

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG2 Zero hunger
      SDG13 Climate action
      SDG16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
      Agricultural Science

      Publication identifier


      Permanent link to this page (URI)