Project Fact Sheet




Demonstration of Sustainable Upland Agroforestry Systems in Chinese Taipei


Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (TFRI), Chinese Taipei


24 months, 1 Sep 2011-31 Aug 2013




Develop and demonstrate the sustainable agroforestry systems adaptable in upland areas.


  1. To develop several different agroforestry management systems to cope with different demands of crop planting and afforestation;
  2. To demonstrate the ability of these systems in preventing the destructive landslides and massive surface erosions on cultivated uplands;
  3. To develop the criteria and indicators for evaluating the sustainability of such agroforestry management systems;
  4. To encourage the communities of mountain villages to participate in the development of new agroforestry system(s) and take part in the dissemination of new technologies.


  1. Study sites selection and experimental plots establishment.
  2. Data collection and analyses, including the growth data of trees and cash crops, soil erosions, and biodiversity indexes.
  3. To develop model to simulate the agroforestry systems.
  4. To develop the criteria and indicators for evaluating the sustainability of these agroforestry systems.
  5. To organize aboard training tours to different economies, including the US and China.
  6. To select upland villages for cooperative studies including income analyses and land productivity evaluation.
  7. To organize seminars for technological discussion and experience exchange.
  8. To select and train farmers for organizing technical teams from upland villages helping technological dissemination.


  1. At least 2 agroforestry management systems, the criteria and indicators for evaluating the sustainability of such agroforestry management systems will be developed;
  2. Three demonstration areas for verifying the ability of soil and water conservation of these agroforestry systems will be established;
  3. Three technical teams which organized by farmers of village communities in uplands for technology dissemination will be established.

Related Files

  1. pdfEvaluation Report1.24 MB
  2. pdfProject Completion Report1.26 MB
  3. pdfTechnical Report2.27 MB

Related News

  1. APFNet Project "Demonstration of Sustainable Upland Agroforestry Systems in Chinese Taipei" Launched in Taipei 30 September 2011
  2. Mid-Term Evaluation of APFNet Project "Demonstration of Sustainable Upland Agroforestry Systems in Chinese Taipei" Successfully Accomplished 31 October 2012
  3. Study tour to Yunnan organized under APFNet-Chinese Taipei project for information exchange and cooperation exploration in agroforestry 26 July 2013

Feature story on Kalala
Kalala-an aboriginal village
Kalala, Ruisui Township, Hualien County, at Eastern Chinese Taipei is an aboriginal village where A-mei tribe inhabits here. In Chinese Taipei, the total population of A-mei tribe is about 189,000, which is the largest among Chinese Taipei’s indigenous peoples. The area of A-mei distribution is mainly along plains and hilly areas of eastern Chinese Taipei. Besides, A-mei is known to begin practicing farming long time ago. The traditional social organization is based mainly on the matrilineal system.
Fig.1 The entrance of Kalala aboriginal village
“Kalala” means “blanket” in A-Mei, to describe its basin shape in topography. The Kalala aboriginal community association is well-organized. Many public issues of the community are discussed and decided in the regular tribe meetings. There are about only 250 persons in this village currently. Several decades ago, it was a self-contained village. The villagers used to barter agricultural products between each other. Like many aboriginal villages in Chinese Taipei, Kalala is facing a few problems, including:
Tribe culture is missing rapidly as many elders are getting older;
Due to lack of jobs, the youths are not willing to stay in the village but moving to cities.
Agroforestry study at Kalala
Coffee is one of the most famous agricultural products in Kalala. Coffee farm is a proper place to develop agroforestry, as coffee is a shade-tolerance species. Chen-Hon Huang, the Secretary of Kalala aboriginal community association, said: “agroforestry is closed to our traditional way in A-mei culture. We are excited to start applying agroforestry as it is likely a recall of our traditional practices. In other words, agroforestry concept can be disseminated relatively easily here. All decisions about this project implementation, including species and site selection, were determined after extensive discussion with landowners and key members of their aboriginal community association.
The first project study site is to observe the effect of clear-cutting, thinned, or remained betel palms interplanted with coffee and Taiwanese camphor (Cinnamomum osmophloeum). They use the leaf of Taiwanese camphor as a flavoring in cooking and for tea. Many villagers are looking forward to the harvest of Taiwanese camphor leaves at this site, which should come about later this year.
Fig 2. Kalala site is a betel nut clearcut experiment. Coffee and Taiwanese camphor were planted in March 2011.
Except the first study site in this village, one more agroforestry site was established later. A few farmers were willing to interplant Ficus pumila L. var. awkeotsang (Makino) Corner, also known as jelly fig, with their betel palms. The fig is commonly used for jelly desserts in A-Mei tribe.
Selected tree species, all native species in Chinese Taipei, may offer a wide range of non-timber forest products (such as drinks, cleaning products, medical use etc.). For example, essential oil and hydrosol can be extracted from Taiwanese camphor. Cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil obtained from Taiwanese camphor, has numerous commercial uses. Cleaning products, such as shower cream, shampoo, soap and hand wash, can be found in the market. Flavonoid compounds from Cinnamomum osmophloeum leaf may decrease serum total cholesterol and triglyceride. Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang, also known as jelly fig, is used for jelly desserts or drinks.
Fig. 3 Taiwanese camphor seedlings were measured at Kalala study site twice every year.
Fig.4 Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang seedlings were planted at Kalala under betel palms.
Runoff and soil losses monitoring instrument was also installed at this site. Based on runoff and soil erosion monitoring data at Kalala study site, surface runoff amounts of all treatments were little. Soil erosion amounts were less than Chinese Taipei average erosion rate (5.2 mm per year). These hydrological characteristics are related to factors such as tree crown cover, soil organic content and soil porosity in betel palm plantations. The crown characteristics of betel palm are rather different from those of fruit trees. The forest crown interception will consume water which evaporates back to atmosphere. Basically, adding tree planting area in agroforestry will increase the consumption of evaporation and can contribute to reduce runoff and surface erosion.
Fig.5 Runoff and soil losses monitoring plot was set up at this site.
In the case of Kalala study site, the three main aspects of sustainability, economic, social are environmental are all taken into consideration and improved. \
After joining this project, Kalala trained agroforestry technical team now can proudly present their agroforestry sites to others and encouraged other upland village communities to modify their agriculture land into agroforestry management system. Sharing experiences from participating farmers is very effective when promoting agroforestry.
“With conducting of this project along with other events, Kalala youths are gradually return to our village from urban areas.” Chen-Hon Huang said. “And we expect more villagers will come back soon.” The Kalala people are steadily recovering their tribe memory and traditional cultures in a sustainable way. The balance between earning money and maintaining traditions may be reached at Kalala in the near future.
Fig.6 Kalala traditional ropework teaching.
Fig.7 Kalala coffee product.
Fig. 8 Cinnamomum osmophloeum product- shower cream.
Fig.9 Seeds of Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang fig.