The role of agroforestry in the farming systems in Rwanda with special reference to the Bugesera-Gisaka-Migongo (BGM) region


The Rwandan farmers, faced with a perpetual land shortage, have evolved certain intensive systems of organic agriculture. These systems, particularly the homestead (compound) farming, involve the combination of food, fodder and tree crops. to a certain extent these systems can satisfy the multiple needs of the subsistence farmers living under several risks and constraints. However, they cannot cope with the expanding food demand of the rapidly increasing population. Some multipurpose, low-input technologies and agroforestry approaches have been designed to improve the productivity of these traditional systems; these include inter/mixed cropping systems and rotations, alley cropping with leguminous trees and shrubs, use of planted ‘fallow’, planting tree legumes on anti-erosive lines, mixed farming,community forestry and woodlots, and tree planting on farm/field boundaries. The essential aspects of these technologies are briefly discussed.

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ISAR-IITA FSR PROJECT, B.P. 629, Kigali Rwanda

ISAR-Swiss Intercooperation, c/o Forestry Department, B.P. 617, Butare, Rwanda

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Balasubramanian, V., Egli, A. The role of agroforestry in the farming systems in Rwanda with special reference to the Bugesera-Gisaka-Migongo (BGM) region. Agroforest Syst 4, 271–289 (1986).

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Key words

  • agroforestry
  • homestead farming
  • land tenure
  • low input technologies
  • organic agriculture