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Oxfam Novib - Economic model for Agroforestry Gardens in Niger

Client: Oxfam Novib
Partner: Afrique Fondation de Jeunes (AFJ)
Period: 2013

Partners for Innovation developed an economic simulation model and tools to calculate the costs and benefits of Agroforestry Gardens in Niger.

Producers in semi-arid regions developed many different Agroforestry systems. Some are fit for large-scale roll-out, such as natural regeneration of trees on agriculture or pasture land. Others are labour and input intensive, for example, (drip) irrigated Agroforestry Gardens, as it is practiced by progressive farmers in semi-arid regions.

Costs and benefits
For its business development programme, Oxfam-Novib wanted to know if such systems could be scaled-up by providing credit to entrepreneurial farmers. Oxfam-Novib’s partner Afrique Fondation des Jeunes (AFJ) in Niger is operating such gardens. Partners for Innovation joined the AFJ team of young professionals to calculate the economic balance of a garden in Doutchi, 300 km east of Niamey. AFJ personnel brought in detailed knowledge of costs and benefits in the garden. Frank van Schoubrouck, from Partners for Innovation, developed a model and a spreadsheet tool to enter and vary with these data.

The calculations revealed that:

  • Investments in Agroforestry gardens are high: an equivalent of €20,000 per hectare
  • Returns are also high: €15,000 per hectare per year, after two years
  • Such systems provide employment for entrepreneurs, technicians and labourers, in total five people per hectare – somewhat varying over the season.

The economic simulation model and calculation tools developed by Partners for Innovation enable the calculation of similar balances in different systems and in different situations.

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