Brian Rotich, Maureen Chepkemboi
Abstract: Farm Forestry (FF) is the act of incorporating trees into a farming system for ecological, economic or subsistence benefits. This study aimed at assessing the status of farm forestry in Tarakwa location, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. Purposive sampling was used in selecting 50 farmers practicing farm forestry as respondents for the study. Data was collected using structured questionnaires, analysis done using Microsoft Excel 2013 and results presented in form of tables and graphs. The common farm forestry practices in the study area were boundary planting, alley cropping and farm woodlots. Study findings also revealed that both exotic and indigenous tree species were planted by the farmers with the five most preferred tree species being Eucalyptus grandis (86 %), Cupressus lusitanica (80 %), Grevillea robusta (78 %), Pinus patula (62 %), and Acacia mearnsii (40 %). Farm forestry was practiced for commercial purposes, (timber, electricity transmission poles, charcoal) domestic use, (timber, fuelwood, medicinal herbs, fodder) and ecological benefits (soil conservation, soil fertility improvement). Challenges facing FF included diminishing markets for farm forestry products, limited land sizes, climate variability, pests and diseases and seedlings unavailability. Addressing the prevailing challenges and increased adoption of FF among the locals has the potential of improving their livelihoods while concurrently reducing the pressure on the nearby natural forests.
Keywords: Farm forestry, Tree products, Forest conservation, Woodlots