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Estimation of Economic Value of Agroforestry Systems at the Local Scale in Eastern Sudan

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DOI: 10.4236/gep.2015.39005    2,625 Downloads   3,490 Views   Citations


The objective of this paper is to institute farmers’ own perceptions of the on-and off-farm benefits of agroforestry systems (AFS). Using use value approach, this paper presents empirical evidence on the use values of three types of AFS practiced by the refugees and their hosting communities in Eastern Sudan. The total economic value (TEV) was applied as a framework to estimate the ecosystem values of AFS under study. Goods values were estimated using specific market values, while the services values were qualitatively described according to local perceived values of the local communities. Perceived TEV of AFS includes marketable and non-marketable goods and services. The main direct marketable and sustainable high value products include: food, cash crops, firewood, gum, fodder, NTFPs medicine, fodder, and honey. The valuation results reveal that AFS in the project sites have significantly contributed to the livelihoods of the local communities. Overall, the average net direct-use value of marketable products across all sites was estimated at 7,346,000.0 SDG (1,335,636.36 US$) HH/annum. Gum Arabic alone accounted for 38%, followed by sorghum grain and fodder 35%, and cash crops (sesame) 18%. This value would be many time higher if other indirect values (non-marketable) services such as shade, aesthetic and recreation, environmental protection, biodiversity and carbon sequestration are quantified. The goods and services mentioned above provide sustainable income to the farmer directly and viable benefits to the region indirectly. Hence, AFS in the study sites shows the way to reconcile two conflicting goals: short-term food and livelihood needs with long-term environmental conservation and improvement. The study provides evidence that the high local perceived values of AFS in the study sites constitute a central means of livelihood, whereas its contribution to the local economy. The study stresses the need to quantify the monetary values of non-marketed products to consistently account for resource availability and usage to further sound policy decisions. Tenure security, farmer support services and human capital development were major areas identified for policy development.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

El Tahir, B. and Vishwanath, A. (2015) Estimation of Economic Value of Agroforestry Systems at the Local Scale in Eastern Sudan. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 38-56. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.39005.


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