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Farmers' fruit tree-growing strategies in the humid forest zone of Cameroon and Nigeria

Farmers' fruit tree-growing strategies in the humid forest zone of Cameroon and Nigeria
Farmers' fruit tree-growing strategies in the humid forest zone of Cameroon and Nigeria
Many studies have stressed the importance of trees to rural households. Few, however, have focused on actual numbers and densities of trees in different land-use systems. Based on community-level participatory research in six communities, semi-structured household interviews and full-farm fruit tree inventories, this study aims to understand farmers’ tree-planting strategies. Relationships between the diversity, number and density of fruit trees and farm size, land-use system, land tenure, distance from the homestead, proximity to the forest, market access and household characteristics are investigated. The key factors determining the differences in tree-growing strategies between communities appear to be market access, land use and access to forest resources. Within communities, differences between individual households were less easy to explain but tenure was important as was farm size. Smaller farms had higher fruit tree densities, a relationship that was particularly strong in communities with good market access. Overall there was a great deal of variability both within and between communities and many of the factors affecting tree-planting decisions were found to be highly inter-related. Despite this complexity, trees on farm play an important role in rural household's livelihoods. Therefore, expansion of tree cultivation should be recognized as a promising pathway to achieve increased income and food production by policy makers and extensionists alike. In addition to improved tree propagation and management techniques, farmers should be strengthened in the processing and marketing of agroforestry tree products and more emphasis should be placed on the development of tree enterprises. By doing so, farmers will be able to earn a more important and consistent income from fruit trees, contributing to the Millennium Development Goals.
dacryodes edulis, domestication, household surveys, indigenous species, irvingia gabonensis, millennium development goals, rural livelihoods, tree inventory
0167-4366
159-175
Degrande, Ann
c591bef6-e9ee-4c0a-a3b1-1bf5c65ead36
Schreckenberg, Kathrin
d3fa344b-bf0d-4358-b12a-5547968f8a77
Mbosso, Charlie
989a1023-03a9-4803-8f71-8fcc52cfcb81
Anegbeh, Paul
9f3a3e9a-cb2e-45dd-8600-909942c85fde
Okafor, Victoria
34722fbc-d79e-480a-8952-d92181517790
Kanmegne, Jacques
b06795f5-3cb6-47b9-862c-b67341914241
Degrande, Ann
c591bef6-e9ee-4c0a-a3b1-1bf5c65ead36
Schreckenberg, Kathrin
d3fa344b-bf0d-4358-b12a-5547968f8a77
Mbosso, Charlie
989a1023-03a9-4803-8f71-8fcc52cfcb81
Anegbeh, Paul
9f3a3e9a-cb2e-45dd-8600-909942c85fde
Okafor, Victoria
34722fbc-d79e-480a-8952-d92181517790
Kanmegne, Jacques
b06795f5-3cb6-47b9-862c-b67341914241

Degrande, Ann, Schreckenberg, Kathrin, Mbosso, Charlie, Anegbeh, Paul, Okafor, Victoria and Kanmegne, Jacques (2006) Farmers' fruit tree-growing strategies in the humid forest zone of Cameroon and Nigeria. Agroforestry Systems, 67 (2), 159-175. (doi:10.1007/s10457-005-2649-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Many studies have stressed the importance of trees to rural households. Few, however, have focused on actual numbers and densities of trees in different land-use systems. Based on community-level participatory research in six communities, semi-structured household interviews and full-farm fruit tree inventories, this study aims to understand farmers’ tree-planting strategies. Relationships between the diversity, number and density of fruit trees and farm size, land-use system, land tenure, distance from the homestead, proximity to the forest, market access and household characteristics are investigated. The key factors determining the differences in tree-growing strategies between communities appear to be market access, land use and access to forest resources. Within communities, differences between individual households were less easy to explain but tenure was important as was farm size. Smaller farms had higher fruit tree densities, a relationship that was particularly strong in communities with good market access. Overall there was a great deal of variability both within and between communities and many of the factors affecting tree-planting decisions were found to be highly inter-related. Despite this complexity, trees on farm play an important role in rural household's livelihoods. Therefore, expansion of tree cultivation should be recognized as a promising pathway to achieve increased income and food production by policy makers and extensionists alike. In addition to improved tree propagation and management techniques, farmers should be strengthened in the processing and marketing of agroforestry tree products and more emphasis should be placed on the development of tree enterprises. By doing so, farmers will be able to earn a more important and consistent income from fruit trees, contributing to the Millennium Development Goals.

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More information

Published date: June 2006
Keywords: dacryodes edulis, domestication, household surveys, indigenous species, irvingia gabonensis, millennium development goals, rural livelihoods, tree inventory

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 76123
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/76123
ISSN: 0167-4366
PURE UUID: ca444a32-1771-4373-b2c3-e5a586b7c56e

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Date deposited: 11 Mar 2010
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 11:30

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Contributors

Author: Ann Degrande
Author: Kathrin Schreckenberg
Author: Charlie Mbosso
Author: Paul Anegbeh
Author: Victoria Okafor
Author: Jacques Kanmegne

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