- Crop Production: agroforestry
- Education and Training: technical assistance, conference
Agroforestry systems offer farmers practical land-use alternatives for marginal agricultural lands beyond high-input agriculture and low-output forestry systems. Agroforestry technologies help farmers diversify production, improve ecological sustainability, and increase economic productivity. Agroforestry concepts and practices need to be encouraged in the mid-South as part of mainstream agricultural practice, research, and extension.
To increase understanding of and encourage more work on agroforestry, Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development convened a 2-day conference in November 1990 on agroforestry practices and policies for the mid-South states. The conference brought together innovative farmers, researchers, and extension personnel from public and private institutions in the mid-South to discuss opportunities and mechanisms for strengthening LISA-related agroforestry strategies by agricultural extension and forestry landowner assistance agencies. Participants shared state-of-the-art agroforestry information and examined policies for encouraging development and adoption of LISA-compatible agroforestry technologies and programs.
The conference resulted in published conference proceedings which contain the most current available information on agroforestry technologies, research, and extension activities within the mid-South states.
To help facilitate communication, Winrock International and the center for Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) published in August 1993, a directory listing individuals and organizations with an interest in and knowledge of agroforestry. The Directory is specifically oriented to the mid-South region, but includes several listing of expertise of potential value nationally and internationally. The Directory includes 278 listings, organized into sections of farmers and researchers, each listed in alphabetical order by state.
The Directory was published in a hard copy format and distributed to numerous individuals and organizations in that format. ATTRA is maintaining and will continuously update the database used to generate the printed Directory.
Winrock International planned and conducted a 2-day conference (November 28-29, 1990) on agroforestry practices, research, and policies related to low-input, sustainable agriculture (LISA) in the mid-South states of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. In addition, Winrock, in cooperation with the center for Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA), produced a directory of individuals and organizations interested in agroforestry in the mid-South states. The Conference and Directory were to provide innovative farmers, researchers, extension personnel, and specialists from public and private institutions opportunities to:
1) Share state-of-the-art information on LISA-related agroforestry concepts, research, and practices for the coastal plain, Mississippi Delta, and upland regions of the mid-South region of the U.S.
2) Promote agroforestry research and extension strategies, emphasizing multidisciplinary and collaborative activities.
3) Discuss the economic and environmental benefits that low-input agroforestry strategies bring to farmers and rural environments.
4) Examine policies affecting the development and adoption of LISA- compatible agroforestry technologies and programs.
5) Encourage stronger programmatic emphasis on LISA-related agroforestry strategies by agricultural extension and forestry landowner assistance agencies in the mid-South states.
6) Establish a mid-South Agroforestry Network to link farmers, researchers, extension personnel, non-governmental advisory agents, and policy makers involved in agroforestry.
7) Improve communication through participation in a directory of agroforestry practitioners and researchers produced in association with the conference.