Policies and incentives for the adoption of improved fallows
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Policies play a strong role in providing incentives and disincentives for farmers to invest in improved fallow systems along with other agroforestry systems. The aim of this paper is to raise a number of policy issues relevant to the adoption and impact of improved fallow systems and then to identify several options for policy makers to create a policy environment, which addresses market failures and alleviates disincentives for adoption of improved fallow systems. Policy issues are organized around six key criteria for adoption of any natural resource management practice by decision makers: (i) awareness of a natural resource problem, (ii) importance of the resource, (iii) willingness to invest (e.g., long-term tenure rights), (iv) capacity to invest (e.g., labor or land), (v) economic incentives (e.g., technical performance and attractive prices), and (vi) support services (e.g., extension or germplasm availability). The analysis across these themes is multi-scale, addressing issues at the plot, farm, community, and regional/national levels. Key areas for getting policies right with respect to improved fallows are mineral fertilizer policy, planting material production an distribution, and property rights to ensure that farmers can invest in fallows and reap the benefits.