On-Farm Approaches for Conservation of Indigenous Tree Species among Households in Aboko Parish, Kwania District
A study to elicit the knowledge on approaches for the conservation of Indigenous Trees (Its) on-farms was carried out in Aboko Parish, Aduku Sub County, Kwania District between June to December 2018. The specific objectives were to: assess the availability of ITs on-farms, document the different approaches for conserving ITs on-farm, assess the benefits of conserving ITs on-farm, assess the challenges related to conservation of ITs on-farms and examine the socio-economic and demographic factors influencing conservation of ITs on-farms. Cross sectional socio-economic surveys were used to collect the data. Questionnaires (Interviews), key informant interviews and Focus Group Discussions were conducted. Data in the questionnaires were coded, entered into SPSS program and analyzed for the availability of ITs on-farm, on-farm conservation approaches for ITs, preferred benefits, challenges and socioeconomic factors that influence households to conserve ITs on-farms. Logistic regression was used to show how the socio-economic and demographic factors influenced peoples’ willingness to conserve ITs. Indigenous trees were reported in all the villages to be available and the common ones were Makhamia lutea, Senna siamea, Albizia coriaria, Borassus aethiopum, Pilostigma thonningii and Albizia grandibracteata. On-farm conservation approaches being used in the area by households included tree spot weeding (63.3%), sparing sprouts (44.9%), pruning trees (40%), controlling fire burning (38%), local beliefs attached to trees and retaining ITs on-farm boundaries with 28.6% each, protecting the younger ones from the destruction of livestock (24.4%) and protecting ITs from pests (22.7%). Benefits got from consumptive goods included firewood, fruits, stakes, medicines and poles. Ecological benefits included wind breaks, soil fertility enhanced, soil erosion control, provision of shades and provision of ecological (environmental) beauty. Easy management, resistance to pests/disease and fast growth were some of the management benefits recorded in the area. Reported challenges related to conservation of ITs on-farms were over utilization of firewood, over collection of poles, conversion of land for settlement and crop growing, poor soils, animal damage, slow growth of these indigenous trees, pests and diseases and ignorance about conservation of ITs. Solutions suggested by households to overcome challenges included community sensitization (48%), provision of fast growing species (46%), planting more trees (44%), fire control (38%), land tenure modification, law enforcement (34%) and early pruning (26%). Sex and marital status had a significant impact on peoples willingness to conserve ITs on-farms (p=0.027 and p=0.032) respectively. There is need to improve on the level of effectiveness of participation by households in on-farm conservation of ITs. To improve on the level of benefits that households get from conserving ITs, a proper nutritional analysis on food and medicinal potential of ITS should be properly done. There is also need to sensitize households (men and women) to enable them engage in more planting of indigenous trees and promoting conservation of Its. This can be done through provision of both financial and technical support by institutions like NAADS, NFA and CBOs operating in the area.