Farmers’ planting and management of indigenous and exotic trees in Botswana: implications for climate change mitigation.
Oladele, Oladimeji I.
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Natural woodlands provide majority of rural population with energy source, food, building material and fodder for livestock. However, current developments and population growth have exerted enormous pressure on the woodlands and possible ex-tinction of some species. Human activities, such as deforestation, agriculture actives, and uncontrolled wildfires, have in-creased environmental degradation around villages. Despite effort by government to lure communities to tree planting initiative the uptake is unsatisfactory. The study focused on exploring constraints and potential of tree planting and management of both indigenous and exotic trees by local farmers in Botswana. Data were collected through structured and semi-structured household questionnaires and 350 respondents were interviewed. Farmers highly appreciate the potential benefits of products and services from tree planting and are willing to take part. About 98% of the respondents agreed that indigenous trees are the main source of biofuel energy and approximately 73% of the respondents concurred to that tree contribute significantly to their food and financial needs. Nevertheless, farmers highlighted some constraints that hinder the adoption of tree planting initiative among them long maturity of trees, limited information on indigenous trees, unfavourable conditions for exotic species and termites as major constraints. Local conditions were identified that favour the adoption of tree planting and agroforestry opportunities. The fact that farmers already leave and grow both indigenous and exotic trees on farms and homesteads and they are knowledgeable on the importance of tree gives hope for future adoption.
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