Assessment of on farm trees and their contributions to household food security in Nyamweru sub-county, Rubanda district
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On farm trees refer to the integration of woody perennials in agricultural systems. It encompasses trees in animal husbandry, farmlands and trees on cultivated fields. Growing of trees with agricultural crops is a form of sustainable land use or sustainable farming system because of the beneficial interaction between trees, agricultural crops, livestock and land. This study was carried out in Nyamweru sub county, Rubanda District to assess on farm trees and their contributions to food security. The specific objectives were to document different on farm tree species planted, assess the purpose of the species and their products, and assess the contributions of specific tree species to household food security and to assess the management challenges faced by household farmers involving on farm tree planting. The study adopted descriptive research design with a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. A sample size of 60 respondents was selected for the study. Data on demographic characteristics of the respondents was analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) and Chi-square was used to assess the contributions of specific tree species to household food security. Results from the study indicated that, Persea American, Eucalyptus spp, Grevillea robusta, and Calliandra callothynsus with 22%, 13%, 12%, and 10% respectively were the most dominant tree species. The major purposes of the tree species and their products were food, firewood, medicine, shade, and soil and water conservation with the total percentage of 79. The main contributions of specific tree species to household food security is significantly determined by avocado, Guava, eucalyptus, pine and avocado was found to have high significant Chi-square value of 8.901 with p.value of 0.003. The study further revealed that specific on farm trees mentioned above contributes significantly to food security through providing food directly, improving soil fertility, selling tree products and animal feeds among others. Therefore, there is need to put more effort in sensitizing farmers on how on farm tree species contributes to food security through teaching them about improved tree species, good management practices in order to solve the problem of food insecurity by use of on farm trees in the area.