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dc.contributor.authorKurauka, Joseph Kathiai
dc.date.accessioned2017-07-26T08:55:49Z
dc.date.available2017-07-26T08:55:49Z
dc.date.issued2015-10
dc.identifier.urihttp://ir-library.ku.ac.ke/handle/123456789/17743
dc.descriptionThesis Submitted in Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Environmental Studies of Kenyatta University. October, 2015en_US
dc.description.abstractDryland ecosystems are increasingly becoming recipients of human populations, which is a response to highland pressure and land scarcity in the arable zones. Despite strong evidence linking benefits of agroforestry with community livelihoods, there is a dearth of studies linking farmers' experiences of those benefits with sustainable land management options. This study was therefore carried out to assess effects of selected tree species on socio-economic and environmental status of aggregated communities of Kitui agro-ecosystem in Kenya. Further, the study sought to: determine the relative importance of tree species integrated into crop production systems in Kitui Central Sub-County; assess the socio-cultural, economic and ecological value of selected tree species in different agro-ecological zones in Kitui Central Sub-County; examine farmers' experience in selected agroforestry tree species and their impact on soil fertility in selected agro-ecological zones in the study area; assess the effects of these tree species on household livelihoods; and evaluate environmental benefits and challenges of tree species integrated in crop production systems in the study area. The research methods used in this study included: a baseline survey, 18 focus group discussions and in-depth farmer interviews, tree cover measurements, soil sampling and testing, and GIS map analyses. In addition, a survey design employed formal methods of socio-economic data collection such as use of questionnaires, interview schedules, and direct observation. Other data sources included publications ranging from local project reports to international journal articles, books, global databases and digital libraries. Soil sampling of soil at the depth of 40cm deep. Soil samples collected from various sites were analyzed for macro and micro-nutrients following standard laboratory procedures. Data were subjected to analysis of variance and using LSD (p < 0.05). The hypotheses tested showed that there was no significant differences in benefits mainlyfuelwood, timber, fodder and fodder of the main tree species on the farms except Senna siamea (%2 =32.1, df =30, p=0.03). Farmers indicated that tree species such as Acacia spp., Adansonia digitata, Cordia africana, Croton macrostachyus, Croton megalocarpus, Erythrina abyssinica, Melia volkensii, Sesbania sesban and SchefJlera actinophylla are highly recommended, therefore, being some of the most promising indigenous tree species in agroforestry systems. Other tree species are highly recommended by farmers for agroforestry systems are Calliandra calothyrus, Senna siamea, Grevillea robusta and Sesbania sesban. However, farmers interviewed mentioned that a number of tree species introduced in the area are reducing soil fertility and causing decline in crop productivity in their farms. The respondents further confirmed that the following tree species negatively affected soil fertility in their farms: Azadirachta indica, Casuarina equisetifolia, Cupressus lusitanica species, Eucalyptus species, Grewia bicolor, Mangifera indica, and Sclerocarya birrea. Therefore, this study concluded that, indigenous and some exotic tree species are highly valued for improved household status through sale of wood products, provision of fodder for livestock and improved soil fertility. This study recommends the need for key stakeholders to formulate policies that enhance establishment of appropriate and fast-growing tree species that could lead to improved livelihoods and enhanced soil fertility. This would ensure success in tree species choice, therefore, significantly contributing to sustainable ecological and socioeconomic benefits for agricultural farms in arid and semi-arid lands. Keywords: agroecosystems, agroforestry, sustainable livelihoodsen_US
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherKenyatta Universityen_US
dc.subjectAgroecosystemsen_US
dc.subjectAgroforestryen_US
dc.subjectSustainable livelihoodsen_US
dc.titleEffects of selected tree species on socio-economic benefits and sustainable land management within agro-ecosystems in Kitui County, Kenyaen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US


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