‘Living with agroforestry landscape: case studies for tea, coffee, and cocoa growing in tropical forest’

K. Shikata, N. Fujisawa Endo, A. Sasaki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional


This chapter illustrates how agroforestry has been created while changing its role in response to the local livelihoods and socio-economic change in three case study sites.
Although agroforestry is often valued as a tool to offer economic benefits for farmers and regulative functions to the environment, local people do not necessarily manage agroforestry solely with explicit economic incentives or environmental benefits. This chapter aims to rethink agroforestry as the result of the relationship between people and nature, which has changed over time.
In three case studies in the agroforestry region of tea in South-East Asia, coffee in Central America, and cacao in Central Africa, the respective authors conducted tree census of agroforesty, interviews, and participatory observation on management practices and social context of its change aiming to understand the current tree components of agroforestry as a result of social change.
While the management method varied as each case study dealt with a different region and crop, we found some commonalities. In particular, those agroforestries were integrated into swidden agriculture. Farmers created agroforestry by using the tree composition of fallow forests by adjusting their shade environment. The primary focus of farmers was not to develop predesigned agroforestry to improve the productivity of specific crops, but to manage it rusticly as an application of local agriculture with original vegetation. Farmers maintained agroforestry while engaging in various livelihoods in response to internal and external socio-economic changes, including environmental and agricultural policies and markets.
Agroforestry is focused on as an environmentally harmonious farming method, but its effectiveness will depend on whether it can be operated as a dynamic agricultural space that can be customized in response to social changes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication“Ecological Anthropology Challenging SESSION6: Taeru Kizasu”
Place of PublicationKyoto
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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