Determinants of adoption of agroforestry systems in the drylands of Kenya

Drylands typically suffer from unsustainable land uses which have evolved in the recent past. They face innumerable problems such as climate variability including extreme events such as drought, natural resources degradation, declining agricultural productivity and high population which are exacerbating retrogressive development pathways in these regions. Dryland populations are generally typically impoverished on a global scale with over half of the population living below poverty line. In order to sustainably address these challenges in the drylands, sustainable land use and management is an important imperative. Agroforestry as a dynamic, ecologically based natural resources management system, through the integration of trees on farms and in the agricultural landscapes, diversifies and sustains production for increased social, economic and environmental benefits for land users at all levels. This is a critical entry point for dryland productivity and sustainability. Well designed and implemented dryland agroforestry provides leverage points to alleviating poverty, providing food security and livelihoods, maintaining healthy ecosystems, conserving biodiversity and mitigating greenhouse gas effects through carbon sequestration. There was thus need to determine factors that influence adoption behavior of agroforestry at farm level. Understanding of how and why farmers make a long term land use decisions and applying that knowledge to the design, development and marketing of agroforestry innovations is very important in realizing full potential of agroforestry. This study identified gaps by establishing ecological, social and economic factors that influence adoption of dry lands agroforestry systems. From the 240 households interviewed, age, gender, marital status, land size, education, income, cultural beliefs, extension services, conservation, time on practicing agroforestry and knowledge of trees on crops were the main determinants of adoption. A multinomial logistic regression model showed that the socio-economic factors (age, education level, family size cultural believes and income) significantly influence adoption of agro forestry(P < 0.05). However, family size did not significantly influenced adoption (P> 0.05). The level of education had the greatest influence (B=0.532) followed by land size (B=0.336) and age (B=0.333).To realize high rate of adoption and benefit from the multiple benefits of agroforestry in drylands, there is need to pay attention to the identified determinants of adoption to realize full potential of dryland agroforestry.
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Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Working document series
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Open Access
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