Throughout the tropical world, especially in South and Southeast Asia, tropical America, Africa and Oceania, there exists a range of forest garden farming systems.
These are small, low-input, but productive and sustainable family units of highly diversified trees, palms, bushes and vines, with few conventional field crops or livestock. Providing a survey of these systems around the world and an in-depth analysis of the farms around Kandy, Sri Lanka, this book offers an economic and ecological description and evaluation of this ancient agroforestry system and its relationship to a wide range of global agro-development and environmental problems. Guided by a table that lists some 30 socio-economic and social criteria by which all farming systems can and should be evaluated, the book presents persuasive evidence supported by comprehensive references. It also examines historical and archaeological findings in order to assess the role these tropical forests played in the general adoption of agricultural farming.