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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 975: IV International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits

FARMER EXTENSION APPROACH TO REHABILITATE SMALLHOLDER FRUIT AGROFORESTRY SYSTEMS: THE "NURSERIES OF EXCELLENCE (NOEL)" PROGRAM IN ACEH, INDONESIA

Authors:   J.M. Roshetko, N. Idris, P. Purnomosidhi, T. Zulfadhli, J. Tarigan
Keywords:   agroforestry capacity building, land rehabilitation, reforestation, smallholder agroforestry, tree germplasm, tsunami recovery
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.975.81
Abstract:
The tsunami of 26 December 2004 had a catastrophic effect on many communities in Aceh. Approximately 200,000 people were killed, 500,000 displaced, and local economies devastated. In affected areas, the loss from the tsunami included 48% of rice lands, 75% of uplands, 59% of tree crops, and 67% of livestock – further traumatizing communities who had suffered from decades of civil conflict. As a result of the two disasters (tsunami and conflict) many Acehnese communities have lost much capacity and experience regarding tree garden management. Additionally, a generation of young farmers was not mentored by their skilled elders, as it was dangerous to visit tree gardens outside of populated areas. As a result current tree management practices are non-intensive. Farmer access to quality tree germplasm, professional technical assistance, and market linkages is limited. To address these conditions, a program was designed to help farmers produce high quality germplasm, improve their tree garden management skills, and enhance their market awareness. The program developed community nurseries as a foundation for farmer group commitment and capacity building. Activities included: introductory nursery training, bi-weekly follow-up, intensive vegetative propagation training, technical consultations, cross-visits, market studies, nursery development, and demonstration plot establish¬ment. In roughly 18 months, farmer capacity was greatly enhanced and a network of 50 “nurseries of excellence” (community nurseries) established which is responsive to the species and seedling quantity priorities of partners. The program of farmer extension approach is effective, replicable and applicable to sites in Indonesia and Southeast Asia where land rehabilitation and community livelihood enhancement are objectives.

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