Step 3 Analyze the Problems

In this step, the current situation is studied carefully. The information gathered is in much more detail than the basic facts gathered in step 1. It encompasses all information that will be needed in subsequent steps, up to implementation. Data should be collected on population (numbers, age, gender, trends, and distribution); land resources (any data relevant to the planning task, e.g., landforms, climate, agroclimatic regions, soils, vegetation, pasture resources, forests, and wildlife); employment and income (summarized by area, age, social and ethnic groups); current land use, production, and trends (tabulated production data, graphic production trends, and economic projections for the planning period, as quantitative as possible); and infrastructure (roads, markets, and service centers). Maps should be made where possible.

Step 1 should have clarified what information is already available and what should be gathered by surveys. Surveys take more time than the gathering of available information, and allowance for this time should be included in the work plan.

The planning area can be split into land units, that is, areas that are relatively homogeneous with respect to climate, landforms, soils, and vegetation. Each land unit presents

Note: The upper date is the earliest starting time for a task, the lower date is the earliest finishing time.

Figure 2.3. Example of a critical-path chart. Source: [6].

Note: The upper date is the earliest starting time for a task, the lower date is the earliest finishing time.

Figure 2.3. Example of a critical-path chart. Source: [6].

similar problems and opportunities and will respond in similar ways to management [6]. Then, land-use systems can be identified: areas with similar land use and economy, based on farming systems, the dominant crops, size of the farms, or the presence of lifestock.

The identification of the problems of land use is necessary to be able to improve the situation. There are several methods of identifying the problems, such as farming systems analysis (described, for example, in [7] and [8]), diagnosis and design (D&D, as described in [9] and [10]), and rapid rural appraisal (see [11], [12], and [13]). They are all based on interviewing a sample of rural land users, preferably stratified according to identified classes of farming systems. However, they are centered on different aims. Farming systems analysis is used to identify problems at the farm level in order to adapt technologies for specific farming systems. In D&D, the problems with land-use systems are identified and their causes analyzed (diagnosis), after which new agroforestry land-use types are designed to solve the problems. In rapid rural appraisal, the existing land-use systems are analyzed in a short period of time (a number of weeks), including the problems of the current systems.

The last part of the problem analysis is to prepare problem statements. For each problem, they describe its nature and severity and its short-term and long-term effects, and provide a summary of its causes.

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