Land Owner Characteristics and Perceptions in Northeast and Southeast Missouri: The Economic and Social Value of Flood Plain Agroforestry to Rural Development Projects
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Agroforestry is a familiar land-use strategy in many areas of the tropics, where intensive management systems integrate trees, crops and livestock to maximize production on minimal acreage, mitigating the impacts of slash and burn agriculture. Agroforestry as a practice is slowly gaining recognition in the United States, where it is defined as “intensive land management that optimizes the benefits (physical, biological, economic and social) from biophysical interactions created when trees and/or shrubs are deliberately combined with crops and/or livestock” (Gold et al., 2000).The research project on social and economic benefits of agroforestry practices aims to identify how and when these practices can become an activity of the portfolio of choices that individuals and their families in rural areas pursue in their livelihood strategies. This study aims at understanding the characteristics of land owners that are not engaged in farming, and who may be interested in agroforestry practices.