Local knowledge on the management, role and impact of trees on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Butta Sub-county, Manafwa District, in Eastern Uganda

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Kwateng C ,  
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Local knowledge on the management, role and impact of trees on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Butta Sub-county, Manafwa District, in Eastern Uganda

Abstract: 

The study was set out to explore local knowledge on the management, role and impact of trees on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Butta Sub-county, Manafwa District, in Eastern Uganda. Three communities located within the landscape at different elevations were selected for the study: Khambatsi Village in the upper slopes, Fuluma Village in the mid-slopes and Lyamaina Village in the lower slopes. Thirty farmers were purposively sampled and participatory research methods were used in combination with the Agro-ecological Knowledge Toolkit (AKT) methodology which was followed to elicit knowledge from farmers in a rigorous and systematic manner. The AKT5 software and SPSS were used to record and analyse the results. The results indicate fine-scale variation of growing conditions, farmer circumstances and needs within the area. Farmers had some detailed knowledge on the management of trees and the ecosystem services associated with them but there was also evidence of knowledge gaps. Farmers were lacking knowledge on raising nurseries of native trees and propagating and managing them properly. There also appeared to be low levels of knowledge about different ways of managing pest and diseases affecting tree and crop production. It is recommended that extension services and advocacy should be intensified. Training of farmers in tree management as well as other good agricultural practices that farmers fall short of should be promoted by the government and other aid agencies. Advocacy campaigns geared towards promoting the utilities of trees to enhance tree retention and adoption should also be considered (2014-09-30)