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University of Toronto (1998)

Indigenous agroforestry and sustainable development in Mutoko Communal District, Zimbabwe

Stamp Judith

Titre : Indigenous agroforestry and sustainable development in Mutoko Communal District, Zimbabwe

Auteur : Judith Stamp

Université de soutenance : University of Toronto

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy 1998

This study examines the nature of indigenous agroforestry, that is the use, conservation and cultivation of trees and woodlands by rural inhabitants in the communal farming system in northeastem Zimbabwe. Villages in four wards of Mutoko Communal District serve as study sites. The purpose of this examination is to evaluate indigenous agroforesmy’s present role as weii as its potential in contributing to sustainable development. The study challenges the Western mode1 of "project agroforestry" and emphasizes the centrai importance of a community and ecosystem context for sustainable development, Three primary questions h-ame the research. What conceptual framework is most appropriate in the locd context for addressing agroforestry’s role in sustainable development ? What are the parameters of indigenous agrofores in communal Zimbabwe and what do the study resdts show ? in what ways dws indigenous agroforestry contribute to the sustainability of the =al farming system ? An adjunct fourth question addresses the role of project agroforestry by the Zimbabwe Forestry Commission and the international Centre for Research in Agroforestry, among other agencies. A conceptual framework for sustainable development is presented that takes a normative, systems approach to people in the context of their landscape ecology. The goals of sustainable development (and the broader objectives of this study) are maintaining or restoring integrity in the households, communities and ecosystems of the farming landscape. The agroforestry objectives are activities which spread tree species vaiued by fanners in appropriate agro ecosystem locations. The study findings emphasize the multiple uses of more than 60 species of indigenous and exotic uees including th& importance for fruit and medicine, fuel, fodder and consmiction materiais. The continueci spirimal significance of uees and woodland is described in a conservation ethic concerning sacred groves and fniit mes. Conservation and cultivation of mees are exarnined according to th& agroecosystem locations on the farming landscape. The subsequent sustainabiîity anaiysis incorporates an assessrnent framework evaluating the improving, stable or declining condition of different parts of the agroforesûy system. The study condudes with proposals for improvement and an evaîuation of the overaïI prospects for indigenous agroforestry


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