Adoption of alternative crops as a means of mitigating crop loss to wildlife around Dudongo forest reserve, Uganda
Apita, Daniel Ol
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Crop-raiding by wildlife remains one of the most challenging issues to conservation practitioners and farmers at the edge of forest reserves. Most households living along the edge of forests inhabited by wildlife have witnessed incidences of crop raiding. Around some protected areas like Budongo Forest Reserve, crop-raiding has resulted into loss of up to 20% of household income and thus resulting into serious human-protected area conflict. In order for peaceful coexistence between community-protected areas, it requires right crop-raiding mitigation measures. This study aimed at examining adoption levels and farmers’ perceptions towards alternative crops around Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda as a means of mitigating crop loss to wildlife to ensure peaceful co-existence of the local communities and the wildlife. The objectives of this study were; to assess adoption levels of alternative crops around Budongo Forest Reserve, to identify factors that influence adoption and perception towards alternative crops and finally to determine farmer’s perceptions and attitudes towards alternative crops around Budongo forest reserve. A total of 120 respondents were selected using stratified random sampling. A descriptive survey was carried out with the household heads and a structured questionnaire was then administered to the respondents during the survey. Cabbage, Rice, Soya beans had the highest adoption levels. Alternative crops such as Water melon and Carrots have no adoption levels. Farmers belonging to social group and making decisions jointly within the household were the major socio-economic factors that significantly influenced adoption of alternative crops Generally, the farmers around Budongo Forest Reserve have a positive attitude and perception towards alternative crops. However, land size and farmers occupation are the socio-economic factors that significantly influenced farmers attitude and perception positively towards alternative crops. 23.3% of the farmers choose alternative crops because they are less susceptible to wildlife crop raiders, it’s from this view that the study concludes firmly that growing alternative crops mitigates crop raiding.