Agroforestry tree products (AFTPs): targeting poverty reduction and enhanced livelihoods

Roger R.B. Leakey, Zac Tchoundjeu, Kathrin Schreckenberg, Sheona E. Shackleton, Charlie M. Shackleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Citations (Scopus)


Agroforestry tree domestication emerged as a farmer-driven, market-led process in the early 1990s and became an international initiative. A participatory approach now supplements the more traditional aspects of tree improvement, and is seen as an important strategy towards the Millennium Development Goals of eradicating poverty and hunger, promoting social equity and environmental sustainability. Considerable progress has been made towards the domestication of indigenous fruits and nuts in many villages in Cameroon and Nigeria. Vegetatively-propagated cultivars based on a sound knowledge of `ideotypes' derived from an understanding of the tree-to-tree variation in many commercially important traits are being developed by farmers. These are being integrated into polycultural farming systems, especially the cocoa agroforests. Markets for Agroforestry Tree Products (AFTPs) are crucial for the adoption of agroforestry on a scale to have meaningful economic, social and environmental impacts. Important lessons have been learned in southern Africa from detailed studies of the commercialisation of AFTPs. These provide support for the wider acceptance of the role of domesticating indigenous trees in the promotion of enhanced livelihoods for poor farmers in the tropics. Policy guidelines have been developed in support of this sustainable rural development as an alternative strategy to those proposed in many other major development and conservation fora.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalInternational journal of agricultural sustainability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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