The use of indigenous tree species in agroforestry system in Kisii district, Kenya
This study investigated the use of indigenous tree species in agroforestry in four divisions of Kisii district. It involved government ministries, non-governmental organizations and farmers. This study was prompted by the realization of the loss of indigenous tree species in the study area following the replacement of natural vegetation with exotic trees and cash crops. Both primary and secondary data were gathered. Two sets of questionnaires were administered to the respondents. Informal and formal interviews were conducted with key informants in the community. More information was collected by use of a checklist. This study established that institutions and farmers incorporated about 24 percent of traditionally valuable indigenous tree species in agroforestry. It further established that economic factors favoured planting of exotic tree species while ecological and socio-cultural factors led to the planting of indigenous tree species. Indigenous tree species decreased as one moved from the south to the northern part of Kisii, a pattern attributed to the intensity of human activities. Generally, indigenous trees had a potential in agro forestry since the local community members expressed their need for medicinal, ecological and socio-cultural values. For this potential to be realised, it is recommended that farmers incorporate various indigenous tree species in agro forestry. There is also need to come up with research activities geared towards use of indigenous tree species in agro forestry systems. This may need joint effort between the community, institutions and researchers.