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Local agroecological knowledge reveals adoption barriers and options for tree based diversification in Northern Morocco

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Local agroecological knowledge reveals adoption barriers and options for tree based diversification in Northern

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Local agroecological knowledge reveals adoption barriers and options for tree based diversification in Northern Morocco

  1. 1. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Dr Tim Pagella t.pagella@bangor.ac.uk Laura Kmoch1,3, Tim Pagella1, Matilda Palm3, Fergus Sinclair1,2 1 Bangor University, Bangor, UK; 2 World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya; 3 Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden Local agroecological knowledge reveals adoption barriers and options for tree based diversification in Northern Morocco 4th World Congress on Agroforestry Montpellier, France 22nd May 2019
  2. 2. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Your Subtitle Here Introduction • Droughts in Morocco are increasing in frequency and intensity. • Societies in this region have historically adapted to water scarcity but need for alternative approaches, including the use of agroforestry, to address environmental constraints to agricultural production • Government policy to convert agricultural systems and increase tree cover through Plan Maroc Vert
  3. 3. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Your Subtitle Here Study area • Field study was conducted in the Zerhoun massif which is part of the Meknès–Tafilalet region of northern Morocco • Action Site for Sustainable Intensification - Meknes- Saiss (ICARDA) • Centre Régional de la Recherche Agronomique de Meknès (INRA) • Farms characterised as ‘rain fed mixed systems’
  4. 4. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Your Subtitle Here Study Aims I. Characterise existing farming systems at local landscape scale; II. Identify possible niches for farm-trees within these systems; and III. Explore locally perceived barriers to tree-based diversification Improved understanding of existing agroforestry practices and agroforestry options within northern Moroccan smallholders farming systems
  5. 5. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Your Subtitle Here Methods • Analysis of local knowledge of smallholders from the Mèknes region • Knowledge-based systems approach to explore potential contribution of agroforestry for meeting adaptation needs. • AKT5 • Sample stratification across an altitudinal gradient to reveal variation in farming practices, socio-economic and agroecological conditions • Iterative cycle of qualitative interviews, with a purposefully selected sample of 32 farmers
  6. 6. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Local knowledge revealed five strata of farm systems: (a) Irrigation farmers (b) lowland farmers- cereal and legume dominated farming systems (c) lower slope farmers, cultivating farmland in the foothills of the mountain range; (d) mountain farmers situated in the massif north and northeast of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun; and (e) livestock farmers (shepherds) primarily involved in livestock husbandry. Heavily dependent on access to forests and privately owned olive groves and cropland. Farm size varied both among and within strata complicated by fragmentation of cultivated land, land in joint ownership and annual leases of land Results: Characterisation of farming systems Agricultural systems almost entirely dependent upon precipitation as the main water source. Farmers of all strata expressed an interest to increase and diversify tree cover
  7. 7. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Your Subtitle Here Results: Characterisation of trees on farms • Agroforestry practices were common to all farming systems • Variation on numbers and types of species present • 19 cultivated and 17 wild or remnant tree species recorded • Interviewees classified tree species according to a basic typology that distinguished: • cultivated trees suited to rain fed farming, • cultivated trees requiring regular irrigation, • and wild or remnant trees on farms. • Generally less trees where annual crop cultivation dominated. • More trees by rivers (fruit trees) & in traditional upland farming systems where trees were the most profitable crops on steep slopes (cereals and legumes were cultivated as intercrops). • High cultural value of old trees
  8. 8. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Your Subtitle Here Interest in trees and agroforestry • There were several common agroforestry practices in Zerhoun, including: • Boundary plantings with olives on annual cropland and prickly pear, agave or cape gum around gardens, homesteads and fields; • Clumps of irrigated fruit trees near homesteads or in corners of annual croplands. • Agrosilvicultural practices such as intercropping of vegetables, legumes and forages in fruit and olive orchards and • Silvopastoralism - livestock grazing under mature olive and carob trees. • Farmers also retain hedgerows of wild trees and grow ornamentals in villages, but seldom use trees to stabilise stream banks. • The number and diversity of wild trees on farms tended to increase with altitude. Olive is by far the most prominent tree species on all farms, with the exception of irrigated properties. Carob, fig and almond are also commonly cultivated and particularly numerous on slopes.
  9. 9. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Your Subtitle Here Water scarcity: Bio-physical and socio-economic constraint • Declining water resources forcing farmers to modify systems – currently leading to a decline in both the number and variety of trees grown • Local knowledge recognized climate variability & climate change as a primary driver of this but alsolack of financial resources and administrative procedures limit irrigation • Old irrigation structures and traditional irrigation practices -> limit tree planting as irrigation potential is not fully realized • Area of conflict • Smallholder upland farmers want economically viable and drought resistant trees -> knowledge gaps limit uptake • High path dependency around olive systems
  10. 10. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Your Subtitle Here Results: Perceived Barriers to Tree-Based Diversification Lower slope and mountain farmers at risk (rain red systems) Farmers identified three interlinked barriers : water scarcity, low profitability of agriculture and uncontrolled livestock grazing. Causal diagram of low profitability and uncontrolled grazing as barriers to tree planting Social capital
  11. 11. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Your Subtitle Here Results: Entry-Points for Tree- Based Adaptation Respondents identified several entry-points: I. Improved management of local water and soil resources; II. Delivery of targeted extension services, focusing on management practices for trees; and III. Conflict-mitigation and improved livestock husbandry by shepherds.
  12. 12. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees Your Subtitle Here Discussion: Demonstrates discriminatory power of local knowledge to characterise farming conditions at the local landscape scale and unveil adoption barriers and options for tree-based diversification in northern Morocco Local knowledge provided rapid assessment of existing agroecological conditions and agroforestry practices at the study site • Previous characterisation of ‘rain fed mixed systems’ inadequate capture local landscape-scale variation of farming systems in Zerhoun • Using livelihood system classification shows quite different performance, management and prospects for change across farming ‘systems’ Some level of ‘cultural inertia’ feeding into adaptation behaviour (farmers wanting to continue to produce olives despite climate change rendering this less ecologically viable). Climate system similar to what will be soon experienced elsewhere in the Mediterranean (Climate Analogue)
  13. 13. Transforming Lives and Landscapes with Trees World Agroforestry (ICRAF), United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, P.O Box 30677-00100, Nairobi, Kenya Phone: +254 20 722 4000 Fax: +254 20 722 4001 Email: icraf@cgiar.org Website: www.worldagroforestry.org Thank you! Tim Pagella t.pagella@bangor.ac.uk

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