Limited consideration of small and medium tree planters by most researchers in academic and programme based research has remained a great limitation to promoting Farm Forestry in most developing countries over the years. Despite the contribution from small scale tree farmers in reducing wood products supply gap, major scientific research attention has always been directed to large scale tree farmers resulting into limited scientific information on how small and medium scale tree farmers contribute towards wood supply in Uganda and beyond. This study aimed at diagnosing the contribution of Farm Forestry Systems in the face of the forecasted wood supply gap in Uganda. Specifically, the study sought to: Characterize Farm Forestry Systems, assess factors motivating engagement in Farm Forestry, determine growth performance of the most grown tree species in different FFS and investigate challenges affecting and actions to enhance wood production in the study area. A descriptive research design employing a cross-sectional field survey with qualitative and quantitative data collection approaches were adopted. Descriptive design was used to facilitate describing the state of affairs as they actually existed. During data collection, interviews were conducted with 63 Tree and 64 Non-tree farmers. Tree inventory and field observations, Geospatial analysis and review of literature were conducted. Descriptive statistics, Cross tabulation, Independent samples Man Whitney test, and Correspondence Analysis were used in the data analysis. Results indicated that woodlot system was the most practiced Farm Forestry System among the farmers. Eucalyptus was the most grown tree species at a proportion of 62% amongst the investigated farmers followed by Pine (24%) and Grevillea (11%). The men dominated on-farm tree planting in the area, with the youthful farmers most active in tree planting. The tree farmers in the area dominantly owned land under the mailo tenure system with the majority indicating that they had acquired their land through buying. Respondents dominantly owned land of less than 2 acres and obtained their planting materials from private tree nurseries. The study also indicated a significant statistical difference between tree and non-tree farmers in terms of their household sizes, period of stay in the area, age and farm-land distance from the homesteads. It was also revealed that non-tree farmers were mainly limited from engaging in tree farming due to limited land. Considering the MAI, growth performance of trees under woodlot system was generally better than those in other systems. Tree farmers were dominantly challenged with limited access to technical training in tree management and they indicated that formation of farmer groups and access to affordable credit facilities could enhance their involvement in wood production. Women need to be encouraged and supported to be part of on-farm forestry to enable them harness from the benefits of incorporating trees on their farmlands. There is also a need for tree farmers to be supported and sensitized on the choice of the Farm Forestry System and the tree species to integrate in their crops and pasture fields. Tree farmers should be organized into collective action groups to enable them jointly; seek financial support from different government initiatives, lobby for technical extension services from local government officials like the office of the DFO and also access contractual markets. The study also points out the need for establishing demonstration farms to allow for peer learning and proper involvement of tree farmers in innovations aimed at developing local solutions to local challenges.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations