FBA 601: Research Methods in Agroforestry

Course Learning Outcome

On the completion of the course, students should have acquired the ability to:

       1. Identify research problems;

       2. Plan and implement research plans;

       3. Analyse and interpret the obtained information; and

       4. Produce learned research reports that provide appropriate solutions to the problems

Course contents

Nature of scientific enquiry, concepts of causation, literature review and the research question. Conceptualization and measurement; data collection instruments, validity, research study designs, threats to validity; selection of study subjects and size. Planning for data collection, management and analysis. Research ethics; research proposal and management; characteristics of empirical research, statistical data analysis. Interpretation of research results, report writing and presentation. Evaluation of research performance. Research methods in Agroforestry: Field experimentation and On-Farm research: Considerations for experimental designs/sampling procedures; randomisation, replication and blocking/local controls; data collection procedures; statistical analyses (e.g. bivariate and multivariate analysis and analysis of variance); uniformity trials (e.g. plot size, shape, and guard areas for different types of experiments (sole crops, mixed crops, agroforestry trials)), evaluation of mixed crop systems - LER _ its uses and limitations, variants of LER (RYT, ATER RIR etc), indices of competition, variability, missing plot technique, transformation, interpretation and results dissemination

Required Readings

     1. J.B. Raintree (1987). D & User’s Manual: An introduction to Agroforestry Diagnosis

           and Design. ICRAF, Nairobi, Kenya. Pp 110.

     2. Marcelino Avilla & Susana Minae (1991). Diagnosis and Design (D & D)

           Methodology. Agroforestry today (July-September 1991), Vol.3, No. 3  

Recommended Readings

     1. P.J. Wood and J. Burley (1991). A Tree for All Reasons: the introduction and

           evaluation of multipurpose trees for agroforestry. Publisher. ICRAF, Nairobi, Kenya

           ISBN: 92-9059-075-0.
       2. G. Schroth and F.L. Sinclair (2003).
Trees, Crops and Soil Fertility: Concepts and

           Research Methods. CABI Publishing. ISBN: 0851995934.