Farmers’ evaluation of agroforestry tree species in Robusta Coffee (Coffee Canephora Pierre Ex Froehner) cultivation systems in Bukomansimbi district, Uganda

Published on January 1, 2011 | Author: Fred Kalanzi

The main objectives of this study can be summarized as: classification of Robusta coffee cultivation systems, understanding the criteria used by farmers in coffee agroforestry tree species selection, and assessing farmers‟ perceptions on the main tree species grown in coffee agroforestry systems. The field work was conducted from March to June, 2011 in Bukomansimbi district, Uganda. The study area experiences a bimodal rainfall pattern and rainfall ranges between 1200 – 2000 mm.

The study followed a survey research approach and 72 coffee farmers were interviewed using a semi-structured household survey questionnaire. A snow ball sampling method was used to identify the sample. Other primary data collection methods used were key informant interviews, a coffee farmers workshop and on-farm observations. Statistical data analysis involved the use of descriptive and inferential analytical techniques. Cross tabulation analyses using chi-square tests (P < 0.05) to determine statistical independence between variables were carried out.

The main agroforestry cultivation systems classified in the area were: Subsistence based cultivation system, the Banana-coffee intercropping system and the Tradition shaded coffee cultivation system. Formal education, fertilizer input, informal education, and land size were the main socio-economic variables found to discriminate between these systems.

The criteria and indicators considered by farmers during tree species selection were characterized into primary and secondary criteria. Primary criteria included optimal shading habits, addition of nutrients to the soil and product diversification. Secondary criteria included strong anchorage, less labor intensiveness, attraction of pollinators, and non-hazardousness.

Tree species diversity in coffee agroforestry systems was generally low. Only 16 tree species were found to be grown with coffee in the area with the top five being Ficus natalensis, Artocarpus heterophyllus, Maesopsis eminii, Mangifera indica, Persea americana. However, some of these also reported some negative effects on coffee such as resource competition, over-shading, aiding pests and diseases as well as physical damage. Yet despite these negative effects, they were still generally maintained in coffee because of additional uses that they provided.
This research work proposes an ideal tree species model for coffee agro forestry based on the point of view of the farmers in Bukomansimbi. This model can guide extension agents to plan their interventions in the area. More research is also needed to understand the interaction between coffee and the most grown tree species in the area.
Kalanzi, F. (2011). Farmers’ evaluation of agroforestry tree species in Robusta Coffee (Coffee Canephora Pierre Ex Froehner) cultivation systems in Bukomansimbi district, Uganda. Master’s Thesis. Faculty of Forest, Geo and Hydro Science. Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products. Technische Universität Dresden.
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