Small-scale agroforestry in the uplands of Bangladesh: A case study

Tapan Kumar Nath*, Makoto Inoue, Hla Myant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Agroforestry, as a sustainable agricultural system, is being widely promoted all over the world, especially in developing countries. Besides traditional agroforestry practices practiced by the rural people, the Bangladesh government introduced several agroforestry systems for the prevention of land degradation and enhancement of rural livelihoods. In this chapter we explore the impact of small-scale agroforestry on upland community development in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh. More specifically, the study clarifies the merits and demerits of different agroforestry systems as perceived by planters, their impacts on the rural economy and the environment, planters' attitudes toward the adoption of agroforestry and impacts of various government policies. Field data was collected by administering questions to 90 randomly selected planters of the Upland Settlement Project (USP), as well as project staff. The results indicated that the agroforestry interventions have in fact increased planters' income through employment and the selling of farm products, as well as by improving the ecological conditions of these areas through reduction of soil erosion, increasing tree coverage and maintaining soil fertility. The adoption of different agroforestry systems was governed mainly by the planters' interest in following these techniques, their ability to cultivate the land in the prescribed manner, and the market demand for their products. The major obstacles that prevented increased agroforestry improvements included lack of confidence in new land use systems, inappropriate project design (e.g., top-down innovation approach) and policy issues regarding land tenure. Recommendations are being proposed to strengthen social capital in local organizations to enhance the livelihoods of the upland communities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Agroforestry
Subtitle of host publicationManagement Practices and Environmental Impact
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781608763597
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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