Regional Sustainability ›› 2023, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (3): 282-295.doi: 10.1016/j.regsus.2023.08.006

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Expert elicitations of smallholder agroforestry practices in Seychelles: A SWOT-AHP analysis

Daniel ETONGOa,b,*(), Uvicka BRISTOLb, Terence Epule EPULEc,d, Ajith BANDARAe, Sandra SINONf   

  1. aJames Michel Blue Economy Research Institute, University of Seychelles, Anse Royale, 1348, Seychelles
    bDepartment of Environmental Sciences, University of Seychelles, Anse Royale, 1348, Seychelles
    cInternational Water Research Institute, Mohammed VI University Polytechnic, Ben Guerir, 43150, Morocco
    dAgrifood research and development unit, University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), Quebec, J0Z 3B0, Canada
    eDepartment of Computing and Information Systems, University of Seychelles, Anse Royal, 1348, Seychelles
    fDepartment of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment (MACCE), Victoria, 445, Seychelles
  • Received:2023-02-16 Revised:2023-06-02 Accepted:2023-08-28 Online:2023-09-30 Published:2023-10-20
  • Contact: *E-mail address: (D. ETONGO).


Agroforestry can leverage the co-benefits of climate change adaptation and mitigation while conserving biodiversity and restoring degraded and deforested lands. The preference of relevant stakeholders regarding agroforestry practices enhances sustainable land management through strategic decision-making in Seychelles and other island states. A suitable approach for assessing stakeholders’ preferences of agroforestry is the implementation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) approach in combination with the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method. The entry point of this study is an extensive literature review process, during which 28 SWOT factors were identified. These SWOT factors were deliberated on during a half-day workshop with agricultural experts who agreed on 20 SWOT factors that reflect the local realities of the Seychelles through a consensus approach. Using the SWOT-AHP approach, focus group discussions were conducted to examine the perceptions of researchers and extension workers about the adoption of agroforestry in Seychelles. The results indicated that the positive aspects of smallholder agroforestry outweigh the negative aspects. For example, increased agricultural production, control runoff and soil erosion receive the highest scores among the strength factors perceived by researchers and extension workers, respectively. The willingness of international organizations to fund agroforestry-related projects and the existence of native tree species on farmlands have the highest scores among the opportunity factors. The lack of education, information, and communication between the government and farmers, and the small land size and crop competition have the highest scores among the weakness factors. Lastly, change in government policies on land use has the highest score among the threat factors by researchers, whereas the most significant threat is climate change and variability for the extension workers. The provision for a 30-year land lease agreement in the National Agroforestry Policy of Seychelles is viewed by both groups as an incentive that could potentially drive the adoption and acceptability of agroforestry. Furthermore, better coordination of various efforts to promote agroforestry and more substantial extension services for farmers, especially the role of technologies for optimal production on small plots of land, can enhance climate resilience in Seychelles and other small island developing states.

Key words: Smallholder farmers, Agroforestry, Climate resilience, Extension workerStrengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT), Analytic hierarchy process (AHP), Seychelles