Agroforestry as a biodiversity conservation tool in the atlantic forest? Motivations and limitations for small-scale farmers to implement agroforestry systems in North-Eastern Brazil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Agroforestry practices support agricultural resilience against climatic variability, increase soil productivity, can diversify and increase farmers' incomes, and support native fauna in agricultural landscapes. However, many farmers are still reluctant to implement agroforestry practices. We distributed questionnaires to 75 agroforestry and 64 "conventional agriculture" small-scale farmers working in the northeastern region of the Atlantic Forest to identify the motivations and limitations to implement agroforestry practices. We reveal the four main reasons why farmers worked with agroforestry: Higher income generation (89%), diversification of the production system (86%), increase in the land's quality and productivity (86%), and increase in self-suciency (82%). The three most common mentioned reasons for conventional agriculture farmers to not shift to agroforestry practices were: Uncertainty if the system will work (62%), reduction in yield of the main agricultural crop (43%), and a lack of models and knowledge in the region (41%). Agroforestry in Brazil's Atlantic Forest region can support native fauna, but farmers need to be educated about agroforestry practices and encouraged to switch from conventional agriculture to agroforestry through an increase in available technical assistance and capacitation/training in agroforestry practices.


External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Agricultural Science


  • Agroforestry technical assistance, Cabruca cocoa plantation, Crop diversity, Farmers' perceptions, Small-scale farmers
Original languageEnglish
Article number6932
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch