Effects of agroforestry initiatives on practices of rural farmers in Iganga District
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Agroforestry is an old practice in which trees, crops and / or livestock are integrated on the same piece of land. Agroforestry practices have been designed to curb the rate of land degradation. They include Agrisilvicultural systems in which trees, shrubs, vines and tree - crops are grown on the same piece of land. Silvopastoral systems which involve planting trees, pastures and raising animals on the same piece of land and finally Agrosilvopastoral systems which integrate tree growing with crops and pasture / animals. The study was carried out in Iganga District in Ibulanku, Waibuga and Magada sub counties. Respondents included local farmers, NGO officials and District agricultural officers. The study aimed at finding out the Agroforestry practices adopted by farmers in Iganga District; The NGOs and Government bodies involved in Agroforestry activities in Iganga District and the benefits of Agroforestry to the farmers. Major findings of the study revealed that agroforestry practices which had been adopted by the farmers included scattered trees in gardens and compounds; shelter belts and wind breaks; live hedges; trees around farmlands and plots; home gardens of various trees and crops around homesteads; alley cropping and multipurpose woodlots. The tree species popularly grown included mangoes, avocado, jackfruit for fruits; Grevillea, Maesopsis eminii and Ficus natalensis were raised for timber and fuel wood and Moringa was used as a source of medicine by most of the farmers. Acacia and Calliandra were used as fodder crops and for aesthetics farmers grew Grevillea and Maesopsis eminii. Two NGOs were actively involved in agroforestry activities namely; Africa 2000 (A2N) and Women Alliance and children Affairs (WAACHA). Government bodies supporting Agro foresty included NAADS, NEMA and FORRI. Agroforestry activities included providing seeds and seedlings, nursery establishment, demonstration plots, training farmers in agroforestry practices and exchange visits. A number of benefits were realized from practicing agroforestry and they included fuel wood, fruits, medicine, soil conservation, fodder and timber. The findings of the study revealed that once agroforestry initiatives are adopted by the farmers they will go a long way in ensuring sustainable land use.