Contribution of agroforestry practices towards livelihood improvement in Bulucheke Sub-County, Bududa District
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Agroforestry practices are associated with many benefits such as providing firewood, improving income and soil fertility. However, there is limited understanding of the contribution of agroforestry practices towards livelihood improvement in eastern Uganda and in particular Bulucheke sub-county. The general objective of this study was to assess the contribution of agroforestry practices towards livelihood improvement (income, food and firewood availability) in Bulucheke sub-county, Bududa district. The specific objectives were; to identify agroforestry practices; to examine the most preferred tree species for improving livelihood conditions, to assessing the extent to which agroforestry practices have improved people’s livelihood (e.g. income, food and firewood availability) and to establish the level of adoption of agroforestry practices in Bulucheke sub-county. Data were collected by administering questionnaires, conducting focused group discussions and interviews and observations during transect walks. Quantitative data was analyzed with the use of cross-tabulation and percentages while qualitative data was organized and interpreted basing on the study objectives. Results indicated that the dominant agroforestry practices in percentage distribution were; woodlots (28.6%), boundary tree planting (25.8%), compound tree planting (21.0%), and scattered trees on farmlands (21.5%). The most preferred tree species for improved livelihood conditions were Eucalyptus spp, and Markhamia lutea. Agroforestry practices contributed less to income improvement, besides farmlands provided only 21% of the firewood needs- for household consumption. Moreover most of the respondents obtained food stuffs from the market (53%) and shop (38%) since farmlands contribute less to food availability. It is therefore suggested that farmers in Bulucheke sub- County should be empowered with the knowledge and skills in maintenance of agroforestry practices so as to improve their livelihoods and solve related problems for example low food and firewood available for household consumption.