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There is evidence from different agroecological systems that trees on farms are beneficial to households and communities. They contribute to improved soil fertility, higher crop yields, and increased agricultural production by helping control soil erosion and replenishing soil organic matter and nutrients. Treebased systems (TBS) of agriculture help diversify the sources of income and they assist in building household resilience to shocks (whether weather-related or otherwise). When planted at a certain scale, trees can also help reduce runoff and flooding and help recharge groundwater and maintain stream flow. However, agricultural practices seldom consider the inclusion of trees.
The scope of this study is to improve understanding of the key factors that drive the adoption of TBS at an increasing scale in Malawi in order to increase the effectiveness of interventions designed to help poor rural farmers with food and energy security. The study aims to inform efforts to extend and accelerate the adoption of TBS across the landscapes of Malawi where erosion is a severe challenge, especially in the Shire River Basin.