Contribution of small holder tree growers to government effort in increasing the tree cover in Uganda. A case study of Kaliro district
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Many stakeholders including the Uganda government are growing trees and contributing to increasing tree cover in Uganda. Whereas the contributions of large-scale tree farmers to increasing tree cover has been documented, that of smallholders farmers (SHFs) is note known. But because smallholder farmers are the majority, it is possible that their contributions to tree cover in the country is significant. In this study i have addressed this gap for Kaliro District. I have also explored the factors that influence tree planting by smallholder farmers.Data was collected in the months of June-July 2018 using interviews with 206 tree growers. Including in the survey were all smallholder farmers who had planted 20 or more trees. The tree growers planted 39 species, in the period 1997-2016, the most popular of which were Pinusspp, Eucalyptusspp, Grevellia robuster and Measopsis eminii. Tree planting by small holder farmers is low because of a few farmers have planted tree ( 9n=206) and they have planted few trees ( median 175). Despite the average low contribution by SHFs, tree cover is increasing because of few farmers that have planted very many trees. Planters who who planted the most trees were male, or engaged in small scale business, possessed a university degree, had received support from the Government.on the other hand, people affiliated to tree growing associations planted fewer trees than those outside tree growing associations. All these differences were statistically significant. Income generation was cited as the smallholder farm planters main motivation for planting trees. However, the key immediate benefit was firewood.these may be important points to consider when developing interventions that target tree planting in the region and throughout Uganda. I conclude that the contribution of smallholder farmers to tree growing in Kaliro district is low and that farmers with attributes mentioned here should be targeted for inclusion in tree planting campaigns for successful tree planting.