Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 159–175 | Cite as

Farmers’ Fruit Tree-growing Strategies in the Humid Forest Zone of Cameroon and Nigeria

  • Ann Degrande
  • Kathrin Schreckenberg
  • Charlie Mbosso
  • Paul Anegbeh
  • Victoria Okafor
  • Jacques Kanmegne
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.

Keywords

Dacryodes edulis Domestication Household surveys Indigenous species Irvingia gabonensis Millennium Development Goals Rural livelihoods Tree inventory 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Arnold, J.E.M.Dewees, P.A. eds. 1995Tree management in farmer strategies. Responses to agricultural intensification. Oxford University PressOxford, UK292Google Scholar
  2. Atangana, A.R., Tchoundjeu, Z., Fondoun, J-M, Asaah, E., Ndo-umbe, M., Leakey, R.R.B. 2001Domestication of Irvingia gabonensis: 1. Phenotypic variation in fruit and kernels in two populations from CameroonAgroforest. Syst.535564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayuk, E.T., Duguma, B., Franzel, S., Kengue, J., Mollet, M., Tiki-Manga, T., Zenkeng, P. 1999aUses, management and economic potential of Dacryodes edulis (Burseraceae) in the humid lowlands of CameroonEcon. Bot. 53292301Google Scholar
  4. Ayuk, E.T., Duguma, B., Franzel, S., Kengue, J., Mollet, M., Tiki-Manga, T., Zenkeng, P. 1999bUses, management and economic potential of Garcinia kola Ricinodendron heudelotii in the humid lowlands of CameroonJ. Trop. Forest Sci. 11746761Google Scholar
  5. Ayuk, E.T., Duguma, B., Franzel, S., Kengue, J., Mollet, M., Tiki-Manga, T., Zenkeng, P. 1999cUses, management and economic potential of Irvingia gabonensis in the humid lowlands of CameroonForest Ecol. Manage. 11319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berry, S. 1988Property rights and rural resource management: the case of tree crops in West AfricaCahiers des Sciences Humaines ORSTOM24316Google Scholar
  7. Chambers, R., Leach, M., Conroy, C. 1993Trees as savings and security for the rural poor. Gatekeeper Series No. 3International Institute for Environment and DevelopmentLondonGoogle Scholar
  8. Dounias, E. 2000Revue de la Littérature Ethnobotanique pour I’Afrique Centrale et I’Afrique de I’OuestBulletin du Réseau Africain d’Ethnobotanique25117Google Scholar
  9. Duguma B., Gockowski J. and Bakala J. 1998. Smallholder cocoa (Theobroma cacao Linn.) cultivation in agroforestry systems of west and central Africa: challenges and opportunities. A paper presented at the International workshop on sustainable cocoa, organised by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama, 29 March to 3 April 1998, p. 25Google Scholar
  10. Edwards D. and Schreckenberg K. 1997. Demand from smallholder farmers for multipurpose tree germplasm: implications for policy, research and development. In: ICRAF. Advance proceedings of the International Workshop on policy aspects of tree germplasm demand and supply. Nairobi, Kenya, 6–8 October 1997.Google Scholar
  11. Egbe, S. 1997Forest tenure and access to forest resources in Cameroon: an overviewInternational Institute for Environment and DevelopmentLondonIIED Forest Participation Series No. 6.Google Scholar
  12. Falconer, J. 1990The local use and value of forests in the West African humid forest zone. The major significance of minor forest productsFAORomeItaly147FAO Community Forestry Note 6.Google Scholar
  13. FAO1985Tree Growing by Rural PeopleFAORome, ItalyForestry Paper No. 64.Google Scholar
  14. Garrity, D.P. 2004Agroforestry and the achievement of the Millennium Development GoalsAgroforest. Syst.61517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gockowski, J., Baker, D., Tonye, J., Weise, S., Ndoumbe, M., Tiki-Manga, T., Foaguegue, A. 1998Characterisation and diagnosis of farming systems in the ASB forest margin benchmark of southern CameroonMimieograph, IITA Humid Forest Ecoregional CenterYaounde65Google Scholar
  16. Government of Cameroon 2003. Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2003/cr03249.pdfGoogle Scholar
  17. Leakey, R.R.B., Atangana, A.R., Kengni, E., Waruhiu, A.N., Usuro, C., Anegbeh, P.O., Tchoundjeu, Z. 2002Domestication of Dacryodes edulis in West and Central Africa: characterisation of genetic variationForests, Trees Livelihoods125772Google Scholar
  18. Leakey, R.R.B., Schreckenberg, K., Tchoundjeu, Z. 2003The participatory domestication of West African indigenous fruitsInt. Forest. Rev.5330347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mbosso C. 1999. Opportunités et contraintes socio-économiques liées á la culture des arbres fruitiers locaux dans les basses terres humides du Cameroun: Dacryodes edulis et Irvinga gabonensis. Mémoire de fin d’études présentéen vue de l’obtention du diplome d’ingénieur Agronome, Université de Dschang, Faculté d’Agronomie et des Sciences Agricoles, Décembre 1999.Google Scholar
  20. Pretty, J.N., Guijt, I., Thompson, J., Scoones, I. 1995A Trainer's Guide for Participatory Learning and ActionInternational Institute for Environment and DevelopmentLondonIIED Participatory Methodology Series.Google Scholar
  21. Russell, D., Franzel, S. 2004Trees of prosperity: agroforestry, markets and the African smallholderAgroforest. Syst. 61345355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Schreckenberg, K., Boyd, C., Degrande, A. 1999Methodological Guidelines for Socio-Economic Fieldwork at Community and Household Level. Internal Project DocumentOverseas Development InstituteLondonFRP project R7190.Google Scholar
  23. Schreckenberg, K., Degrande, A., Mbosso, C., Boli Baboule, Z., Boyd, C., Enyong, L., Kanmegne, J., Ngong, C. 2002The social and economic importance of Dacryodes edulis in southern CameroonForests, Trees Livelihoods121540Google Scholar
  24. Tchatat, M., Puig, H., Tiki-Manga, T. 1995Les jardins de case des provinces du Centre et du Sud du Cameroun: description et utilisation d’un systéme agroforestier traditionnelJ. d’Agriculture traditionnelle et de Botanique Appliquéenouvelle série37165182Google Scholar
  25. Warner, K. 1993Patterns of farmer tree growing in eastern Africa: a socioeconomic analysisOxford Forestry InstituteOxfordUKTropical Forestry Paper No. 27Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Degrande
    • 1
  • Kathrin Schreckenberg
    • 2
  • Charlie Mbosso
    • 1
  • Paul Anegbeh
    • 3
  • Victoria Okafor
    • 3
  • Jacques Kanmegne
    • 4
  1. 1.World Agroforestry CentreICRAF-African Humid TropicsYaoundéCameroon
  2. 2.Overseas Development InstituteLondonUK
  3. 3.World Agroforestry CentreIITA/ICRAFOnneNigeria
  4. 4.Institut de Recherche Agricole pour le DéveloppementIRAD-NkolbissonYaoundéCameroon

Personalised recommendations