Socio-economic factors influencing adoption of agroforestry technologies: A case study of Iganga and Tororo Districts, Uganda
Tibingana, Ayesiga Rhona
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To understand the socio-economic factors influencing the adoption of agroforestry, participatory rural appraisal exercises. A household survey with farm visits and focus group discussions were carried out between November 2005 and April 2006 in Iganga and Tororo districts in eastern Uganda. The agroforestry technologies studied were boundary planting, improved fallow use and improved fruit growing. Analysis using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) showed that boundary planting was highly adopted irrespective of socio-economic status followed by improved fallows and lastly the growing of improved fruits. Pearson’s chi-square tests showed no association between gender and adoption of boundary planting although there was a positive association (p=0.014, r=0.178) between gender and adoption of improved fallows. A negative association (p=0.008, r= -0.192) was observed for improved fruit growing when the two districts were combined. There was a positive significant association (p=0.014, r=0.177) between wealth status and adoption of improved fruit growing. The same analysis showed that farmers in both districts, irrespective of gender, used fast growing as the most important criteria for selection of tree species to use in the different agroforestry technologies being promoted. For the improved fallows, the male farmers in Iganga were interested in amount of leafy biomass while the female counterparts were looking at the multiple uses of and/or multiple products form the tree species. Among the social and economic benefits of agroforestry to the communities, farmers indicated good neighbourliness and land boundary demarcation as priority benefits from boundary planting. Both districts recognized soil fertility improvement and firewood as important benefits from improved fallows; improved fruits provided mainly fruits and income as benefits to the communities. Therefore, based on these findings, those involved in policy development need to consider the socio-economic status of the majority of technology users in order to enhance implementation of the adoption of agroforestry technologies vital in environmental and natural resources conservation.