The challenges and opportunities of tree projects to increase on farm tree cover: the case study [of] Kyeizooba Sub County in Bushenyi District
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In order to address the problem of high rural poverty and food insecurity, government and international donors have funded on-farm plantation forestry projects as one of the tools for improving the welfare of rural communities. In the wake of climate change, on-farm plantation forestry has evolved to include carbon forestry, with the dual purpose of sequestering carbon and improving rural livelihoods. However, there is a dearth of empirical evidence regarding whether and under what conditions on-farm plantation forestry can deliver favorable livelihood outcomes. Therefore, Propensity Score Matching (PSM) and endogenous switching regression models were used to estimate the average treatment effects of adopting eucalyptus and carbon forestry woodlots (under the plan vivo system) on consumption expenditure per adult equivalent and daily calorie acquisition per adult equivalent. PSM and switching regression results consistently indicated that adoption of eucalyptus woodlots increased consumption expenditure by 32 and 28.3% respectively. PSM and switching regression results also indicated that adoption of eucalyptus woodlots increased calorie acquisition per adult equivalent by 36 and 13.1% respectively. Results also indicated that adoption of carbon forestry increased calorie acquisition per adult equivalent by between 22 and 26.9% but the impact on consumption expenditure per adult equivalent was mixed. The findings of this study provide empirical evidence that adoption of on-farm eucalyptus woodlots is an important pathway for smallholder farmers to escape poverty and improve food security. Similarly, adoption of carbon forestry woodlots under the plan vivo system can improve food security. However, previous on-farm plantation forestry projects were not well targeted to the poor households.