Agroforestry extension [Costa Rica]

approaches_2391 - Costa Rica

État complet: 89%

1. Informations générales

1.2 Coordonnées des personnes-ressources et des institutions impliquées dans l'évaluation et la documentation de l'Approche

Personne(s) ressource(s) clé(s)

Spécialiste GDT:
Nom du projet qui a facilité la documentation/ l'évaluation de l'Approche (si pertinent)
Book project: where the land is greener - Case Studies and Analysis of Soil and Water Conservation Initiatives Worldwide (where the land is greener)

1.3 Conditions relatives à l'utilisation par WOCAT des données documentées

Le compilateur et la(les) personne(s) ressource(s) acceptent les conditions relatives à l'utilisation par WOCAT des données documentées:


1.4 Références au(x) questionnaire(s) sur les Technologies de GDT

Shade-grown coffee

Shade-grown coffee [Costa Rica]

An agroforestry system which combines coffee with shade trees - including fruit, timber and leguminous species - in a systematic fashion.

  • Compilateur: Olman Quiros Madrigal

2. Description de l'Approche de GDT

2.1 Courte description de l'Approche

Participatory extension of agroforestry systems, especially of shadegrown coffee, to promote sustainable and productive use of natural resources among small and medium scale farmers.

2.2 Description détaillée de l'Approche

Description détaillée de l'Approche:

Aims / objectives: The Programme for Agroforestry Development (PRODAF) pioneered a new type of agroforestry extension in Costa Rica between 1987 and 1994. PRODAF was positioned under two national ministries (the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock - MAG and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines - MINAE) and was supported by GTZ (German Technical Cooperation). Agroforestry extension underpinned the following sectors: environmental education, promotion of training and technical assistance in agriculture and forestry, development of programmes for afforestation and agroforestry systems, and promotion/support of farmers' organisations. The approach was based on land users' participation at all stages. The main purpose of the agroforestry extension approach was the development and promotion of sustainable production systems, which were adapted to the local biophysical and socio-economic conditions. This was to enable environmentally friendly production on steep slopes, while at the same time generating sufficient income for small and medium scale farmers in marginal areas of the Acosta-Puriscal region. In this case study, shade-grown coffee was identified to be a system that fulfilled these conditions. Another important objective was the involvement of all family members - including the younger generation.

Role of stakeholders: In the first years PRODAF operated with a top-down development approach implementing technologies, designed by specialists, without consultation of land users. Local needs and experiences were not considered: as a result both adoption of shade-grown coffee was low, and maintenance was poor, despite initial incentives. The change to a participatory, bottom-up approach, with land users being represented in the steering committee (which during this period was absolutely innovative) increased acceptance among the majority of farmers towards shade-grown coffee. Participation of land users during planning and implementation was rewarded with provision of tools, seeds, fertilizer and biocides (fully financed or subsidised). The technology was evaluated on the test plots within existing coffee plantations together with the land users. PRODAF's legacy has been an institutional change in Government policy towards extension.

2.3 Photos de l'approche

2.5 Pays/ région/ lieux où l'Approche a été appliquée


Costa Rica

Région/ Etat/ Province:

San José/Río Parrita

2.6 Dates de début et de fin de l'Approche

Indiquez l'année de démarrage:


Date (année) de fin de l'Approche (si l'Approche n'est plus appliquée):


2.7 Type d'Approche

  • fondé sur un projet/ programme

2.8 Principaux objectifs de l'Approche

Promotion of appropriate management of natural resources and adoption of the shade-grown coffee agroforestry system - café arbolado - among small and medium scale farmers.

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: - various different approaches of forest and agricultural technicians regarding choice and implementation of the technology, - which needed harmonising, - lack of incentives for farmers to adopt technology, - lack of participatory technology development

2.9 Conditions favorisant ou entravant la mise en œuvre de la(des) Technologie(s) appliquée(s) sous l'Approche

disponibilité/ accès aux ressources et services financiers
  • entrave

Lack of credit for SWC implementation.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Credit has been made available through the 'productive re-conversion programme' and other credit systems for organic/conservation production, eg Fideicomiso (see under credit).

cadre institutionnel
  • entrave

Lack of collaboration and coordination between different institutions.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Innovative incorporation of land users in decision making, which in the meantime has become a common approach.

cadre juridique (régime foncier, droits d'utilisation des terres et de l'eau)
  • favorise

The existing land ownership, land use rights / water rights moderately helped the approach implementation: Land fragmentation leads to very small areas per household. This hinders implementation of SWC activities. Land users do not have the resources to invest in initial inputs and activities.

  • entrave

Subdivision of land hinders adoption of SWC measures.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Not directly treated by the approach. Diverse incentive mechanisms have to be identified to promote SWC activities on small areas.

connaissances sur la GDT, accès aux supports techniques
  • entrave

Lack of technical knowledge, lack of research activities/trials with SWC technologies.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Promotion of alternative production systems and SWC measures had great impact. Technology was tested on-farm. PRODAF did not focus on research activities.

3. Participation et rôles des parties prenantes impliquées dans l'Approche

3.1 Parties prenantes impliquées dans l'Approche et rôles

  • exploitants locaux des terres / communautés locales

Mainly men participated: women are not usually expected to carry out field activities for cultural reasons. The coffee harvest is the only activity where men and women work together in the field.

  • Spécialistes de la GDT/ conseillers agricoles
  • gouvernement national (planificateurs, décideurs)
3.2 Participation des exploitants locaux des terres/ communautés locales aux différentes phases de l'Approche
Participation des exploitants locaux des terres/ communautés locales Spécifiez qui était impliqué et décrivez les activités
initiation/ motivation interactive rapid/participatory rural appraisal; good participation basically through participative rural appraisal
planification interactive workshops/seminars; incentives are provided for participating land users
mise en œuvre interactive responsibility for major steps; incentives are provided for participating land users
suivi/ évaluation interactive workshop/seminars, interviews/questionnaires;
Research interactive on-farm

3.3 Diagramme/ organigramme (si disponible)


Organisational set-up of PRODAF (Programme for Agroforestry Development)

3.4 Prises de décision pour la sélection de la Technologie/ des Technologies

Indiquez qui a décidé de la sélection de la Technologie/ des Technologies à mettre en œuvre:
  • principalement les spécialistes de la GDT, après consultation des exploitants des terres

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by mainly by SLM specialists with consultation of land users

4. Soutien technique, renforcement des capacités et gestion des connaissances

4.1 Renforcement des capacités/ formation

Une formation a-t-elle été dispensée aux exploitants des terres/ autres parties prenantes?


Formats de la formation:
  • entre agriculteurs (d'exploitants à exploitants)
  • zones de démonstration
  • réunions publiques
Formats de la formation:
  • trips to projects in, field days, workshops
Thèmes abordés:

The following subjects were treated: coffee agroforestry system, fruit trees and soil conservation, silvo-pastoralism, soil conservation in general. Beside knowledge transfer, awareness raising and motivation were important aims of training.

4.2 Service de conseils

Les exploitants des terres ont-ils accès à un service de conseils?


Spécifiez si le service de conseils est fourni:
  • dans les champs des exploitants?
Décrivez/ commentez:

Name of method used for advisory service: Extension carried out through extension workers was the key element of the overall approach; Key elements: the adequacy of extension for continuation was very good, Different methods were used: on-farm technical assistance; farmer-tofarmer knowledge exchange; demonstration areas and workshops.

4.3 Renforcement des institutions (développement organisationnel)

Des institutions ont elles été mises en place ou renforcées par le biais de l'Approche?
  • oui, un peu
Précisez le type de soutien:
  • financier
  • renforcement des capacités/ formation
  • équipement

4.4 Suivi et évaluation

Le suivi et l'évaluation font ils partie de l'Approche? :



Bio-physical aspects were ad hoc monitored by 0 through measurements; indicators: yields
Socio-cultural aspects were regular monitored by 0 through observations; indicators: family size
Economic / production aspects were regular monitored by 0 through measurements; indicators: yields and production market
No. of land users involved aspects were regular monitored by 0 through measurements; indicators: land users involved in organisation
There were many changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: The approach changed completely after evaluation of the first phase, from an initial top down methodology with low technology adoption by land users, to a more participative approach heeding land users' opinions and needs, and improving communication between technicians and land users. This was helped by the development of educational materials.

4.5 Recherche

La recherche a-t-elle fait partie intégrante de l’Approche?


Spécifiez les thèmes:
  • écologie
  • technologie
Donnez plus de détails et indiquez qui a mené ces recherches:

Results were rather meagre, and the effect on the approach was thus moderate. Previous to PRODAF there was a research project conducted by CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre) in the approach area, but results were not broadly disseminated.

Research was carried out on-farm

5. Financement et soutien matériel externe

5.1 Budget annuel de la composante GDT de l'Approche

Commentez (par ex. principales sources de financement/ principaux bailleurs de fonds):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: government (national - MAG, MINAE): 50.0%; international non-government (GTZ): 50.0%

5.2 Soutiens financiers/ matériels fournis aux exploitants des terres

Les exploitants des terres ont-ils reçu un soutien financier/ matériel pour la mise en œuvre de la Technologie/ des Technologies?


5.3 Subventions pour des intrants spécifiques (incluant la main d'œuvre)

  • équipement
Spécifiez les intrants subventionnés Dans quelle mesure Spécifiez les subventions
outils en partie financé hand tools
  • intrants agricoles
Spécifiez les intrants subventionnés Dans quelle mesure Spécifiez les subventions
fertilisants en partie financé
seedlings entièrement financé
Si la main d'œuvre fournie par les exploitants des terres était un intrant substantiel, elle était:
  • volontaire

5.4 Crédits

Des crédits ont-ils été alloués à travers l'Approche pour les activités de GDT?


Spécifiez les conditions (taux d'intérêts, remboursements, etc.):

Repayment conditions: Credit was provided through ‘productive re-conversion programme’ to support small-scale organic production and soil conservation. After PRODAF a larger (national) credit programme to promote agroforestry systems was launched, under MAG and National Production Council. Fideicomiso is another national financing programme based on a contract between a bank and development institutions. .

Interest was lower than market rate.

6. Analyses d'impact et conclusions

6.1 Impacts de l'Approche

Est-ce que l'Approche a aidé les exploitants des terres à mettre en œuvre et entretenir les Technologies de GDT?
  • Non
  • Oui, un peu
  • Oui, modérément
  • Oui, beaucoup

There was substantial improvement of soil and water management through application of the agroforestry systems.

Did other land users / projects adopt the Approach?
  • Non
  • Oui, un peu
  • Oui, modérément
  • Oui, beaucoup

Some projects in the region as well as in other parts of the country adopted the approach. Various SWC extension programmes have adopted the extension methods promoted by PRODAF, based on the principles of land users participation. In the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock it has been taken as a basic principle in the National Programme of Agricultural Extension.

6.3 Durabilité des activités de l'Approche

Les exploitants des terres peuvent-ils poursuivre ce qui a été mis en œuvre par le biais de l'Approche (sans soutien extérieur)?
  • incertain
Si non ou incertain, spécifiez et commentez:

While the approach has been institutionalised and a national credit programme set up promoting shade-grown coffee and silvo-pastoral systems, continuation of field production activities is uncertain. Farmers’ motivation to apply technologies was raised with the Environmental Education Programme, but if market prices for coffee decrease /show variability, farmers lose the motivation to maintain i

6.4 Points forts/ avantages de l'Approche

Points forts/ avantages/ possibilités du point de vue du compilateur ou d'une autre personne ressource clé
Institutionalisation of the basic participatory extension approach within the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
Initial top-down approach replaced by participation with land users (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Continue to spread information about the effectiveness of this change in attitude, and the need for responsiveness in projects and programmes.)
Training of land users (knowledge of soil degradation processes and soil and water conservation) (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Collaboration with farmers organisations, NGOs and agricultural extension services. Better dissemination of research results.)
Environmental education in schools (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Continue support through the Ministry of Education.)

6.5 Faiblesses/ inconvénients de l'Approche et moyens de les surmonter

Faiblesses/ inconvénients/ risques du point de vue du compilateur ou d'une autre personne ressource clé Comment peuvent-ils être surmontés?
No economic security guaranteed in the long term because of price fluctuations Provide a system of incentives, eg lower taxes for those who apply SWC technologies.

7. Références et liens

7.1 Méthodes/ sources d'information

  • visites de terrain, enquêtes sur le terrain
  • interviews/entretiens avec les exploitants des terres

7.2 Références des publications disponibles

Titre, auteur, année, ISBN:

PRODAF (1992) Informe de evaluación de las parcelas agroforestales establecidas por PRODAF, Periodo 88-91, Puriscal,Quiros O (2000) Nachhaltigkeit von landwirtschaftlichen Produktionsverfahren in bäuerlichen Familienbetrieben in Costa Rica.

Disponible à partir d'où? Coût?

Vauk-Kiel KG: series of: Sozialökonimische Schriften zur Ruralen Entwicklung, Vol. 20