Farmers’ Attitudes Towards On-Farm Cultivation of Indigenous Fruit Trees in Adwari Sub-County, Lira District, Uganda
Agea, Jacob Godfrey
Akais Okia, Clement
Okullo, J. B. L.
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This study was conducted in Adwari sub-county, Lira district to (i) determine the conservation status and threats to indigenous fruit trees (IFTs), (ii) assess farmers’ attitudes towards IFT cultivation, (iii) documents local knowledge on propagation and management of IFTs, and (iv) identify opportunities and constraints to promotion of IFTs cultivation. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to a total of 120 randomly selected respondents. MINITAB statistical package was used to analyze the data. Logistic regression analysis was performed to show the influence of socio-economic characteristics on farmers’ towards their attitudes to plant IFTs. The population of IFTs was found to be generally declining. The major reasons for decline were charcoal burning and firewood collection. Although, majority of farmers had positive attitudes towards cultivation of IFTs, their attitudes were influenced by gender, education level, farm size and occupation status. Lack of clear markets for indigenous fruits, unclear information about their food values, lack of seedlings in local nurseries, and dearth of information propagation techniques were the major hindrance to cultivation of IFTs. There is a need especially by local governments and local councils to formulate clear strategies on conservation of IFTs for example by establishing a community nursery and propagation center for IFTs. There is a need to address the issue of marketing and pricing of indigenous tree fruit products. Lastly, there is a need of further study to analyze the market environment for indigenous tree fruits compared with alternative possibilities such as exotic fruits or agricultural crops.