Socio-economic factors that affect the adoption of agroforestry as strategy for evironmentally friendly subsistance agriculture in Kalungu Sub County, Masaka District
An assessment of the socio-economic factors that affect the adoption of Agroforestry (AF) as a strategy for environmentally friendly subsistence agriculture was carried out in Kalungu Sub County, Masaka district, in 2003. This research was necessary because of the fact that, although AF is very important in sustainable development, its adoption in Uganda is still limited. Most of the field research has concentrated on the bio-physical attributes of AF with limited data on the socio-economic factors that affect the adoption of AF. The main objective of this research study was to determine the Socio-Economic factors that influence the adoption of AF in Kalungu Sub County Masaka district. For the field survey 200 framers were interviewed; 100 farmers collaborating with Vi Agroforestry project and 100 farmers not collaborating with the Vi Agroforestry project. The key research findings are: i) Results reveal that there were significant differences in responses of Vi and non-Vi farmers regarding the benefits from trees in AF systems X2 = 20.6; df = 9; P<0.05 ii) Data indicated that there was significant difference in use of crop residues as a source of fuel energy X2 = 18.5; df 8 P<0.05. iii) There was no significant difference in gender between Vi and non-Vi farmers (p<0.05). iv) The majorities of the household heads were of very low education, below primary level and worked full time on the farms with no other occupation. v) Access to the land in the area was seen as increasingly becoming a problem and has a great influence on the adoption of agroforestry. These observations in Kalungu subcounty are in line with Uganda Second Participatory Poverty Assessment Project (UPPAP2) in 2001/2002 which indicated that access to land is increasingly becoming a problem (MFPED, 2003). vi) Responsibility and rights for planting and using trees/shrubs are mainly held by men due to cultural reasons. vii) Preference of the crops to trees (because farmers are interested in the food security of the family, and many of the trees take a long to time to mature in order to get benefits that is farmers are interested in the short term benefits from food crops). There was no significant difference in incomes between those farmers affiliated to the Vi AF project and those farmers affiliated to the Vi AF project and those farmers not affiliated to the Vi AF project (p<0.05). Conclusion Lack of knowledge on AF, land availability and land ownership were identified as one of the most important factors limiting the adoption of Agroforetry. There is need for affirmative action to integrated AF into NAADS programme and Bonna Baggaggawale programmes.