Endogenous agroforestry practises in Chad

Impacts addressed
CTCN Keyword Matches



A farmer sitting on a well on his agroforestry field

Local name of practice: Nguemkage

Country/region/village: Chad/Logone Occidental/Mbalkabra 

Community: Ngambaye


Mbalkabra is located in the constituency of Lake Wey in the area of western Logone. Its population is approximately 40 000 inhabitants. To cope with a changing climate, soil leaching and a loss of soil fertility, a traditional agroforestry technology is used in the agriculture and forestry sectors. It is an endogenous climate change adaptation and mitigation technology and specifically addresses food security and livelihood supply. The technique regards combining forest and annual rainfed crops and off-season short cycle crops one the same land. The technology is applied at the community level: Mbalkabra community in several villages in the locality of Logone Occidental.


Agroforestry is practiced in plots that often range from 0 to 5 hectares with large trees to limit high winds and reduce crop exposure to the bright sun, allowing the farmer to increase total productivity while safeguarding the potential of natural resources. Fruit trees provide annual harvests in addition to the production of the field, while timber trees constitute a heritage that generates income in the short, medium or long term through exploitation in the form of energy wood or service wood. Wood energy is derived from the reasoned pruning system of wild trees. Pruning allows you to trim the tree to allow the sun's rays to reach certain plants for their need for photosynthesis. Farmers plant forest species and annual crops in the same field following these technical standards: between two lines of forest species a distance of 9 m is observed; it is within 9 m that annual crops are planted. The farmer must have a field, farm equipment and nurseries. It is important to know pruning techniques and how to put the fence around the trees inside the field. 

For 1 ha it takes about 3,000,000 FCFA (USD 6,000) to run the motor pump, to manage the land, the nursery, the barbed fence, agricultural equipment, transportation of plants for transplanting.

Users of this technology have acquired technical and organizational capabilities since the 1970’s marked by a severe degradation of natural resources. These capabilities include:

•    The establishment of hedgerows

•    The choice of big trees to prune according to the type of market gardening (sweet potato, potato, cougar, etc.), since the cultivation of some species is done under the shade of big trees.

•    The traditional technique of preparing market garden areas

•    The local know-how of transplantation process

•    The control of water supply works (traditional wells)

•    Saving and water control techniques

•    The cultural calendar according to different crops

•    The choice of short cycle species

•    Crop monitoring 

The users of this technology are invited to a yearly national seminar on trees which is usually held in the period from July - August. The participants convene under the slogan "Whoever has not planted a tree before dying has lived unnecessarily”.

Economic incentives:

•    The activity is profitable and generates an increase and diversification of income for farmers, part of the harvest is for self-consumption for the family.

•    Investments from savings and loans to finance agricultural inputs such as hedgerows, wells, traditional firebreaks, horticultural equipment, plowing equipment, labor, etc.

Governance and planning tools 

•    Individual planning: each producer plans his own activities according to the cultural calendar by type of speculation

•    The tree week: which is a national framework for the governance of natural resources instituted by decree since 1972

•    The Laoukassi Convention, which is a NR management framework with a management plan on transhumance corridors and conflict between stock breeders and farmers 

•    Cross-cutting approaches (Community-based), Technology contributes to disaster risk reduction, fighting strong winds, micro-climates, soil fertilization with litter and accentuating bush fires among others. 

•    The technology contributes to the protection of the ecosystem and the biodiversity with the return of the canopy, of the wild species like the elephants 


Benefits of technology

The advantages and performances of this technology are related to:

  • Increase in yields,
  • The diversification of products, greenery
  • The availability of livestock feed 
  • The increase in rainfall, according to the user, because trees tend to attract rain
  • Availability and control of water 
  • Erosion control


The direct beneficiaries of the practice are: households who benefit from the earnings from the harvest to meet food, health, education needs.

The indirect beneficiaries of the practice are: the consumers, the shopkeepers who buy the products and sell their stocks, the other actors who are in the processing chain and the workers at the task during the harvests, the commune with the taxes.


Gender considerations

The users of this technology are of all kinds (men, women, young). Women are not at risk using this technology but they are limited by access to land. The profits are for the benefit of the family. Women are rarely the owners of the fields but they can inherit the property from a plot of their late husband. In the commune of Mbalkabra the rural works are made by a family system where the man holds the monopoly of decision

Potential for technology transfer and up-scaling

This technology is passed from generation to generation and does not necessarily require a particular level of education. Training on wild tree pruning techniques and planting methods would be necessary. It would be possible to transfer the technology, taking following conditions and prerequisites into consideration:

  • Access to land: having a farmland is a crucial condition
  • Access to primary equipment like agricultural and horticultural equipment such as plowing machines, traction animals, small watering and weeding machines
  • Recipients having will, commitment and motivation
  • Having technical and organizational capacities in agroforestry (establishment of nursery, transplanting and planting techniques, etc.)
  • The establishment of communication and awareness tools (dissemination of information on the benefits of the practice, advertising spots, local radios, training sessions, exchange visits
  • A high potential for the deployment of technology exists in more than 50 communities of the locality
  •  Taking into account stakeholders (consultation with land owners, pastors, teachers, associations)
  • Organizing actors into groups
  • The promotion of traditional or conventional communication. 

Recommendations for dissemination:

  • Put in place the means of communication / exchange visit
  • Develop means of communication, internet, displacement, agricultural equipment
  • Identify resource persons
  • Promote traditional or community communication
  • Involve local radio stations (NADA radio, KARUBA, Radio Moudou, Radio Bonne Nouvelle
  • Organize the actors into groups

Potential barriers:

  • Wandering animals creating a source of conflict between farmers and herders
  • Non-compliance with the Laoukassi Convention adopted in 2010. This convention is a framework of natural resources management with a management plan on transhumance corridors and conflict between herders and farmers


Djekore M. 2016. Mission de recueil des meilleures pratiques en matière de gestion durable des terres en vue de leur diffusion, CILSS,  126 p

Dramé A. Kiema A. 2016. Connaissances endogènes : les bonnes pratiques d’atténuation et d’adaptation aux changements climatiques en Afrique de l’Ouest, Enda Energie, 94 p