Assessement of agro-forestry as an alternative to conventional farming in Kasisi
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Agroferestry has been suggested as a solution to problems of rural development especially among the small scale farmers. The International Center for Research in Agroforestry(ICRAF) at Chalimbana Research Station introduced on-farm agroforestry trials in Kasisi to evaluate whether results obtained on-station would be reflected from on-farm trials. The objective of this study was to assess the contribution of agroforestry to the improvement of maize yields on farmers fields during the 1993/94 growing season. The mode of data collection included scheduled and unscheduled interviews which were used to collect information from farmers in Kasisi and agroforestry researchers at Chalimbana Research Station. Planted fallows with Sesbania sesban are being promoted as an improved agroforestry system that would help improve crop production among resource poor farmers in Kasisi. Results from this study showed maize yields to be far below the expected average in both conventional and agroforstry plots. These low yields were attributed to late planting of maize, low quantities of fertilizers applied than recommended, shorter fallow period for agroforestry plants, and low rainfall during the season. However, monetary losses in agroforestry plots were lower than those of conventional plots. Yields in agroforestry plots were slightly higher than those from conventional farming plots but the difference was not statistically significant. Therefore, it would not be prudent at this time tc conclude that agroforestry would help to produce better yields than conventional cultivation methods. It is thus suggested that researchers should improve monitoring on how farmers follow recommendations. The drought had significant impact on the crop yields and hence the study should be repeated in order to observe how the crop would perform in seasons with ncir.al rainfall and also longer planted fallow lengths.
- Natural Sciences