Agroforestry trials - experimenting with the inclusion of woody plants in farming systems - constitute an age-old practice throughout the world. The Forests Trees and People Programme, briefly presented in this paper, aimed to document farmersí research and information sharing practices, and to identify present and future roles of outsiders in the process. Four case studies in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda demonstrated how farmer experimentation and scientific research could complement each other. However, there was barely any farmer-to-farmer dissemination of new findings, because people feared their ideas would be stolen with no credit to themselves. The author suggested a system of legal protection and formal recognition, and outlined the future activities of the programme.