Oct 1, 1990
Agroforestry has been incorporated in education and training programs at an unprecedented level since 1982. A survey of educational institutions conducted by ICRAF in 1987 revealed that agroforestry is found as an option for specialization in undergraduate as well as in postgraduate M.Sc, diploma programs in forestry, agriculture, natural resources, and others. Courses and special seminars in agroforestry are organized in degree programs. Full undergraduate and postgraduate programs in agroforestry are being formulated and implementation started in quite a few universities, and many students are choosing agroforestry-oriented research projects for their dissertations. A good setting for higher degree training in agroforestry requires, however, staffing from combined faculties of at least agriculture, animal science and forestry; faculty commitment to a farming systems approach; and inter-departmental cooperation in teaching and research. It was difficult to asses whether these and other elements are present in existing programs where agroforestry has been incorporated. Emerging trends indicate that traditional forestry programs are broadening the scope of the discipline (from forests to integrated land-use systems) while agriculturists are recognizing that trees play important roles as soil improvers and protectors, fodder, food, fuel and other domestic and commercial purposes. New institutional structures are evolving to allow for educational programs with coursework and research projects spanning many disciplines. Nondegree training in agroforestry has seen an upsurge of activities equal, if not larger, to that in education. Attempts are being made by different institutions worldwide to inventory training opportunities; still the collection and dissemination of information is difficult. Efforts are needed at the international, regional, and national levels, to address training issues that if addressed collectively can improve the quality and effectiveness of human resource development efforts. ICRAF's approach to promote agroforestry research through education and training is an example of an action program currently under application.