Trade-Off Between Agroforestry and Ecosystem Services among Smallholder Farmers in Machakos County, Kenya

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Kinyili, Benjamin Mutuku
Ndunda, Ezekiel
Kitur, Esther
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East African Nature & Science Organization
Agroforestry provides multiple ecosystem services. The understanding of the relationships between it and the ecosystem services can help to lessen undesired trade-offs. The aim of this study was to determine the trade-offs between agroforestry and ecosystem services among smallholder farmers in Machakos County, Kenya. This study demonstrated that smallholder farmers who had adopted agroforestry in the semi-arid areas of Machakos County achieved several ecosystem services from the practice. Ecosystem services supporting functions included nutrient recycling and soil formation which were the most important. These were followed by regulatory functions (soil erosion control, water infiltration, microclimate regulation, flood control and disease/pest control). Provision of ecosystem services such as fuelwood, fruit, nuts, poles, timber and fodder was the third most important function as perceived by the local community members while the least was cultural functions that are rarely performed within the agroforestry ecosystems. Given the low knowledge of the entire range of agroforestry ecosystem services in the area, there should be concerted effort to educate the local community members about the wide range of ecosystem services to maximize the exploitation of these services from agroforestry
An Article Published in East African Journal of Forestry and Agroforestry
Agroforestry, Ecosystem Services, Supporting Functions, Regulatory Functions, Provisioning Functions, Cultural Functions, Livelihoods