Tree Species Cultivation on Subsistence Agricultural Fields in Northwestern Ethiopia
Keywords:tree species, Ethiopia, species preference, subsistence farming, agroforestry
AbstractThe study was intended to identify species preferences, the relationship between livelihood status and tree planting, and the major tree growing patterns of smallholder subsistence farmers in rural Ethiopia. Data was collected through household interviews and the total enumeration of all tree species on respondents’ landholdings. A total of 23 tree species were recorded integrated within the farming landscape as boundary plantings, scattered on crop fields, around the homestead, and woodlots. There was a significant difference in the mean number of trees per household across the three wealth classes. Among the three wealth classes, the medium wealth category households have a relatively higher number of tree species than rich and poor households (p<0.05). Considering the ever-increasing population and the resulting demand for construction poles, fuelwood, household utensils, farm implements, and the fast-growing performance of the species, Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. was the first preferred tree species to households for planting. Tree integration in the farming landscape should be recognized since it will be invaluable in developing plans for agroforestry interventions. However, exotic tree species have dominated the status of indigenous tree species. Then, there should be a continuous and detailed extension system to upgrade the traditional management system and the tree selection to be integrated.