Contribution of Eucalyptus growing to local community livelihood’s in Bufundi sub-county, Rubanda district
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Tree farming is expected to increase and contribute positively to tree farmers’ livelihoods in the coming years. With the rapid increase in demand for tree benefits and tree products, eucalyptus tree farming is becoming an important one stop point for consumers in finding most of their needs. Be it climate change mitigation, conservation of natural forests, protection of catchment areas, wildlife conservation and ecological restorations, tree planting serves as a panacea for all their requirements. The current study investigated contribution of eucalyptus growing to local community livelihood’s in Bufundi sub-county, Rubanda district. The study sought to assess the benefits of eucalyptus tree growing to by the tree farmers, to determine the strategies of promoting eucalyptus tree growing and to determine the challenges faced by eucalyptus tree farmers in Bufundi sub-county. The target population was the tree farmers in the three parishes of Bufundi Sub County and these were Mugyera, Kishanje and Kagunga. The study used purposive sampling to select 60 respondents. The primary data were collected using questionnaires. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics using SPSS and Excel. The study found that eucalyptus tree growing contributed much on income generation (83.3%), firewood production (76.7%), timber production (75%) and soil erosion control (61%) among others. Trees also provide products like charcoal, timber, firewood and building poles. Farmers are faced with challenges like pests and diseases, price fluctuations, limited capital, inadequate seedlings and others though these challenges can be controlled or reduced through regular spraying, provision of loans, widening the market and provision of seedlings to tree farmers. Key words: eucalyptus tree growing, community livelihoods, tree benefits, the strategies of promoting eucalyptus tree growing, tree products.