The USAID Agroforestry Outreach Project (AOP) began In late 1981. One of its goals was to provide the Haitian farmer with an additional cash crop by encouraging him to grow troes in an agroforestry system. This would simultaneously reduce Haiti’s soil losses and other environmental problems. One of the original concepts of AOP was to have a research component to support project needs. Although it was presumed that the Grantees (The Pan American Development Foundation PADFS, Operation Double Harvest *ODH$, and CARS) would undertake their own internal research programs, their planting and outreach programs consumed all of their available time and resources. By the time of the “aid AOP review, it had become apparent that an independent contractor was needed to design and Implement the necessary research. Thus, the University of Maine (U of M) was selected to conduct studies in the following areas: Traditional Haitian Agroforestry Systems, Silvicultural Studies, Nursery and Outplanting Techniques, Species Trials, Cost-benefit Analysis of Agroforestry Systems.
The purpose of the Traditional Haitian Agroforestry Systems component was to 1) Identify major cropping systems by ecological zone, 2) identify the agroforestry practices within these zones by the tree and crop species, spatial patterns, and other recognized technical and socioeconomic classification categories, and 3) use this data to quantitatively and qualitatively characterize Haitian agroforestry systems.
The Silvicultural Studies component was to 1) identify researchable Silvicultural treatments in the context of Haitian agroforestry conditions, 2) locate AOP sites and apply these treatments, 3) initiate measurements of these treatments, and 4) document this work laying the framework for follow-up measurements.