Socio-economic and environmental contributions of agroforestry practice in Lay Armachiho Woreda Amhara region, Ethiopia

Master's Thesis, 2019

70 Pages











1.1. Background of the study
1.2. Statements of the problem
1.3. Objectives of the study
1.3.1. General objective
1.3.2. Specific objectives
1.4. research questions
1.5. scope of the study
1.6. significance of study
1.7. organization of the paper

2.1. Definitions and concepts
2.1.1. Agroforestry
2.1.2. Agroforestry practice
2.1.3. Agroforestry systems
2.2. Major types of the agroforestry practice
2.2.1. Alley cropping
2.2.2. Home gardens
2.2.3. Windbreaks/Shelterbelts
2.2.4. Forest Farming
2.2.5. Boundary Planting
2.2.6. Live fences
2.2.7. Multipurpose Woody Hedgerows
2.2.8. Trees on rangelands-Silvopastoral
2.3. Theoretical literature
2.3.1. History of agroforestry
2.3.2. Advantages of agroforestry
2.3.3. Functions of trees in agroforestry
2.4. Empirical literature
2.4.1. Environmental contributions of agroforestry practice
2.4.2. Social contributions of agroforestry practice
2.4.3. Economical contributions of agroforestry practice
2.5. Conceptual Frame Work

3.1. Description of study area
3.1.1. Location
3.1.2. Topography
3.1.3. Climate
3.1.4. Soil characteristic
3.1.5. Population
3.1.6. Economic activities
3.2. Research methodology
3.3. Sources of data
3.3.1. Primary data source
3.3.2. Secondary data source
3.4. Sampling technique and sample size
3.5. Methods of data collection
3.5.1. Questionnaires
3.5.2. Ground survey
3.5.3. Focus group discussion
3.5.4. Key informant interview
3.5.5. Observation
3.6. Methods of data analysis
3.7. Research method summary

4.1. Socio-demographic characteristics of respondents
4.2. Agroforestry practices and its contribution for plant species diversity
4.2.1. Trees shrubs and livestock’s production
4.3. Contributions’ of agroforestry practice to reduce burdens of women & children
4.4. Contributions of agroforestry practice for average annual net income

Chapter Five
Conclusion and Recommendation
5.1. Conclusion
5.2. Recommendations




Above all, I would like to thank the supreme, Almighty God and His Mother, Saint Virgin Mary, for giving me the chance, strength and courage to continue my study and for all things done in my entire life. First and foremost, I would like to extend my deepest and heartfelt appreciation to my major advisor Meseret Kassie (PhD) for her unreserved guidance and professional expertise for the completion of this work. I am also would like to express my deepest gratitude to my co-advisor Behailu Tadesse (PhD) for his unreserved support from the beginning to the end by giving valuable scientific comments.

I am also very grateful to the individuals who generously took part in sharing their experiences and views during my fieldwork. It is also hard to list down their names here. Thus I would like to present my sincere thanks to all my informants, all Lay Armachiho Woreda officers and farmers who support this study directly and indirectly. I am also grateful to University of Gondar for offering me postgraduate study grant.

Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all my friends and my family my mother w/ro Banchiamlak Adane, my brother Fekadu and Fekreselam and my sister Atkilt and Almaz who have assisted me for the completion of this study.


Table 3. 1. Stratified Proportionate Simple Random Sampling

Table 3. 2. Summary of methods

Table 4. 1. Socio-economic and demographic characteristics of respondents….

Table 4. 2. Additional income generating off farm activities of respondents

Table 4. 3. Major agroforestry practices of the respondents

Table 4. 4. Agroforestry practice contributions for plant species diversity agreements of respondents

Table 4. 5. Number of plant species types in 3 Kebele sample plots with different practice

Table 4. 6 plant species diversity index of sample plots in different practice

Table 4. 7 . Number of trees, shrubs and livestock’s owned by farmers

Table 4. 8. Energy collection distance and time for week consumption

Table 4. 9. Energy collection involved respondents

Table 4. 10. Average yearly net present value of the respondents


Figure 2. 1. Conceptual framework

Figure 3. 1. Location map of study area…...

Figure 4. 1. Respondent’s agroforestry practice and not practice.

Figure 4. 2. Major agroforestry practice in the study area

Figure 4. 3. Plant species diversity recording in the study area

Figure 4. 4. Contributions of agroforestry practice for wood and dung energy

Figure 4. 5. Contributions of agroforestry practice for income generating in study area


Appendix 1. Household survey semi questionnaires

Appendix 2. Part III. Guideline for ground survey plant species diversity record

Appendix 3. Part IV. Chalkiest for field observations

Appendix 4. Part V. Guidelines for key informant’s interview

Appendix 5. Part VI. Guidelines for Focus Group Discussion (FGD)


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


The plant species diversity and socio economic contributions of agroforestry practices have not well known in Lay Armachiho Woreda. Therefore, this study was conducted with the objective of assessing environmental and socio economic contribution of agroforestry practices in Lay Armachiho Woreda. The basic data employed in this study was obtained from three randomly selected kebele from 29 rural kebele and 183 randomly selected sample households from 1905 households. A simple random sampling procedure was employed to select the sample farm household heads. The data that was gathered using a semi structured questioner were analyzed using descriptive statistics Focus group discussions, Field observation, and key informants interviews were analyzed using content analysis Ground survey were analyzed using Shannon diversity index and Simpson diversity index. The survey result indicated that about 82.2% of the respondents were AFP; while the remaining 17.8 % of the respondents were NAFP on their farm land. The contributions of agroforestry practice for plant species diversity with two selected major agroforestry practice Shannon diversity index were 1.47 and 1.59 plant species diversity respectively within 100 square meter five plots of land from each kebele with compare to mono cropping practice 0.64 plant species diversity and Simpson diversity index of selected agroforestry practice and mono cropping practice 0.26, 0.19 and 0.55 plant species diversity respectively. AFPs contribution to reduce burdens of women and children to collect wood and dung energy time and distance, from AFP average 0.134 kilometer d & 1 hours were lower than NAFP collection average 1.468 kilometer & 2.5hours time taken to collect weekly energy consumption and involvements of wood collection from AFP 63.6% men 20.2% women & 16.2% children NAFP men 29%, women 38.7% & children 32.3%. Finally agroforstry was also found that the average annual NPV from AFPs and mono crops were mean, 180932 and, 41535 ETB respectively t value 86.55 and mean difference of NPV were 5.6 and also BCR of AFP and NAFP were 5.36 and 4.17 respectively. Therefore, AFPs contributions for environmental: plant species diversity, social: reduce burdens of women and children to collect energy and economic: net income contributions compare to NAFPs in the study area. Thus promotion of AFPs is needed to improve the environmental and socioeconomic contributions of the society. Moreover further study is needed to explore other environmental effects of AFPs such as on soil and other land resource management in the study area.

Key word: AFP, NAFP, Shannon diversity index, Simpson diversity index, NPV and BCR



Background of the study

Agroforestry is a special land management mechanisms that intentionally blends agriculture and forestry to enhance productivity, profitability, and environmental stewardship. Agroforestry can be a key technology for farmers, ranchers, woodland owners, communities, and others who want to use sustainable strategies that devlop agricultural practices and protect natural resources. Agroforestry practices can resemble a living patchwork quilt across entire watersheds. For instance, managed natural forest canopies in a woodland can protect a range of crops grown for food, landscaping, and medicinal use plants such as shiitake mushrooms, ramps, ginseng, goldenseal, curly willow, and sword fern. Additionally, socities and ranchers who plant pine trees on land used for livestock and forage production can add to their profits by selling pine straw and high-value sawlogs(USDA National Agroforestry center, 2010).

ICRAF’s current definition of agroforestry is a collective name for land-use systems and practices in which woody perennials were deliberately combined with crops and/or animals on the same land-management unit. The combination can be either in a spatial mixture or in a temporal sequence. There are normally both ecological and economic interactions between the woody and non-woody components in agroforestry(Foundation, 2018). Agroforestry is viewed as a set of stand-alone tools that together form various land-use systems in which trees were sequentially or simultaneously integrated with crops and/or livestock. Agroforestry is generally practiced with the intention of developing a more sustainable form of land use that can enhance farm productivity and the welfare of the rural societies. Agroforestry should be reconsidered as a dynamic, ecologically based, natural resource management system that, through the combination of trees in farm- and rangeland, diversifies and sustains smallholder production for increased environmental and socio economic benefits(Foundation, 2018).

Agro forestry unique nature is that it covers integrations of trees with plants or animals, and that there must be interactions between the plant and non-plant parts of the system. Agroforestry is a collective name for land-use practice in which woody perennials (trees, shrubs, etc.) were grown in combination with herbaceous plants (crops, pastures) and/or livestock in a spatial arrangement, a rotation or both, and in which there are both ecological and economic interactions between the plant and non-plant components of the system(International, 2009).

According to Guyassa & Raj, (2013) agroforestry has great potential for reducing burdens of natural forest and also deforestation and forest degradation, providing rural livelihoods and habitats for perennial woody species outside the forests and alleviating resource-use pressure on conservation areas.

The recent study advances in forest management have expanded its scope to accommodate methods and techniques involved in the management of trees for multiple uses rather than for timber alone in order to improve their ecological and socio economic role under dry land conditions. Agroforestry is one of the latest development approaches in forest sciences concerned with an integrated interdisciplinary approach to sustainable land use and on-farm tree management for multiple purposes(Glover, Ahmed, & Glover, 2013).

Land use practice and system in which forest trees, livestock, and arable land (for crops) were integrated on the same unit of land and managed to give product on sustainable basis either simultaneously or sequentially. It is a practice that is economically sound and culturally compatible. Cultivating trees, agricultural crops and pastures and/or animals in intimate integrations with one another spatially or temporally is the old practice that farmer have used throughout the world. The importance of home garden agro forestry practice to rural livelihood is well appreciated throughout the world. The home garden has been described as an important social and economic unit of rural households, from a diverse and stable supply of economic products and benefits are derived. Recently peoples in different areas practice home garden agro forestry as a land use system. This system of land use contributes a lot to improve the livelihood of communities in many part of the world (Thaman W. et,al 2017).

Throughout Africa, agroforestry systems come in a wide variety of shapes and forms. Many of these systems have little more in common than the coincidence of woody perennials with agricultural crops and/or livestock. Basic data collection by the FAO does not clearly stress the segregation between forests and agricultural landscapes with trees (Mbow, Noordwijk, et al., 2014).

Agroforestry is one of the majority conspicuous land use systems across landscapes and agro ecological zones in Africa. With food shortages and enlarged threats of climate change, interest in agroforestry is gathering for its potential to address various on-farm adaptation needs, and fulfill many roles in AFOLU-related mitigation pathways. Agroforestry provides assets and income from carbon, wood energy, improved soil fertility and enhancement of local climate conditions; it provides ecosystem services and reduces human impacts on natural forests. Most of these benefits have direct benefits for local adaptation while contributing to global efforts to control atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations(Mbow, Smith, Skole, Duguma, & Bustamante, 2014).

Trees inside and outside forests contribute to food security in Africa in the face of climate variability and change. They also provide environmental and social benefits as part of farming livelihoods. Diverse ecological and socio-economic conditions have given increase to specific forms of agroforestry in different parts of Africa. Policies that institutionally separate forest from agriculture miss opportunities for synergy at landscape scale. More explicit inclusion of agroforestry and the integration of agriculture and forestry agendas in global initiatives on climate change adaptation and mitigation can enlarge their success(Mbow, Noordwijk, et al., 2014).

Agroforestry is not completely a new concept in Ethiopia. It is an old-aged practice whereby farmers maintain trees in croplands. Such woody perennials are retained for their numerous uses and benefits, such as their nitrogen-fixing properties and soil improvement capacity, and the provision of fodders, fuel wood, and fruits (ICRAF, 2011).

In lay Armachiho Woreda agroforestry practice most common in all rural Kebeles and also relatively best agroforestry practice compare to other north Gondar zone Woredas(LAWARDO, 2018). Agroforestry practices in study area are mix of activity including annuals crop, perennials crop, green manure, fodder and other agroforestry activity which promoted in an effort to ensure food security and improve the livelihoods of the communities.

Statements of the problem

The diminution of forest resources and increasing demand for forest products especially of the rural people who depend on forests for livelihoods have widened the gap between the demand and supply of forest products in Ethiopia. Agro forestry seems to have potential to provide options for rural livelihoods for different purpose of social and economic unit of rural households, diverse and stable supply of economic products, and source of income and biodiversity conservation. Our country Ethiopia, current government policy emphasize on the need to initiate community and agro forestry program to meet livelihood needs of the farming households(Thaman W. et,al 2017).

Agroforestry practices help landowners to vary products, markets, and farm income; advance soil and water quality; and reduce erosion, non-point source pollution and dam­age due to flooding. The integrated practices of agroforestry improve land and aquatic habitats for fish and wildlife and improve bio­diversity while sustaining land resources for generations to come(University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, 2013).

Lay Armachiho Woreda is highly agroforestry practice almost in all Kebele of the Woreda at different scale(LAWARDO, 2018). However according to Lay Armachiho Woreda Agriculture and Rural Development Office (2018) it cannot see by study the agroforestry practice contribution on community social issues: to reduce burdens of women and children in collection fuel energy and not clearly known the net income economic contributions, and also there is no clear result to show plant species diversity environmental contributions of agroforestry practice(LAWARDO, 2018).

In lay Armachiho Woreda activities related to land resources management system including forest, soil and water is less, thus biodiversity were highly exploited (LAWPCO, 2018). Moreover, to rehabilitate the degraded environment, agroforestry practices have been applied however, the tree species planted and their environmental and socioeconomic contributions for the surrounding and farmers of the study area have not been well studied and documented(LAWARDO, 2018). To address the problems of environmental degradation and poverty in the study area, both the community and the government implemented agroforestry practice. Therefore, this study is motivated to investigate the gaps which to point out potential contributions of agroforestry practices on environmental and socioeconomic situations.

Objectives of the study

General objective

The general objective of the study is to assess environmental and socioeconomic contributions of agroforestry practices in Lay Armachiho Woreda, Amhara Region, Ethiopia.

Specific objectives

i. To examine the contributions of agroforestry practice on plant species diversity in study area.
ii. To assess contributions of agroforestry practice to reduce burden of women and children for fuel energy collection in the study area.
iii. To analyze net income contributions of agro forestry practice in study area.

Research questions

1. What are plant species diversity effects of agro forestry practices in study area?
2. What are the major contributions of agro forestry practices to reduce burden of women and children for fuel energy collection in the study area?
3. How agro forestry practices improve the net income of the society in study area?

Scope of the study

This study was limited to cover assessment of environmental and socioeconomic contributions of agroforestry practices in Lay Armachiho Woreda, Central Gondar Zone, and Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia particularly in three Kebele (Adisgie, Kerker Balegzihabier and Shumera).

The study concentrated on plant species diversity, to reduce burden of women and children, and net income contributions of agroforestry practices. The research results mainly depend on data collect from three Kebele administrations and only 183 farm households was selected by simple random sampling method. The researcher used primary and secondary data source by using questioner, focus group discussion, key informant interview observation and ground survey instruments of data collection the process of data analysis was used by qualitative and quantitative analysis methods.

Significance of study

This study were create better understanding for communities, contributions of agroforestry practices on environment plant species diversity, social issues reduce burdens of women and children and their economic net income contributions to society. It is also valuable for stakeholders, policy formulators, decision makers, farmers and practitioners of the region. Besides it adds to the body of knowledge. The other possible benefit of this study was provided useful information for researcher and different scholar’s who have concern on the agroforestry practices.

A government at the Federal, regional State and local levels was benefit from the study if they harness the opportunities by investing in agroforestry which makes it sustainable, renewable, economically feasible and highly profitable for natural resource environmental management. It also serves for those who would be interested to conduct further research on this topic.

Organization of the paper

The study was organized into five chapters. Chapter one presents the introduction, which focuses mainly on the background of the study, statements of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study and scope of the study. Chapter two provides review of related literature which describes some related concepts regarding to the agroforestry practices. It further gives an over view of agroforestry practice contributions. Chapter three deals with a short description of the study area, materials and methods of study. Chapter four presents the results and discussion of the study. Finally, chapter five deals with conclusions and recommendations drawn from the study to show agroforestry practice contributions.



Definitions and concepts


Agroforestry is defined as a dynamic, ecologically based, natural resource management system through the combining of trees and livestock on farmlands to continue production for increased social, economic and ecological benefits (Nair, 2009).

Agroforestry is one of the optiona for sustainable natural resource management promoted in the world over. As a land use system or practice of combining trees or woody perennials, crops and animals in some spatial or temporal pattern, it has been practiced for centuries by farmers in many countries. The aim of agroforestry systems is to increase, diversify and sustain production of economic, environmental and social benefits(Amatya, D.M et,al 2011).

As a multifunctional management strategy, agroforestry provides an intentional blending of forestry and agricultural practices that can address food security and stability in manag­ing for other ecological and environmental services provided by these landscapes. As an agricultural management option, agroforestry is unique in that it is tree based, adding strategic diversity at various scales in ways that can reduce threats and build resiliency under changing conditions(Service, 2017).

Agroforestry practice

Agroforestry practices (AFP) vary in their composition, structure, and function, depending on the biophysical, ecological, social, economic, and cultural situation under which they occur(O. Jemal, 2018).

Agroforestry systems were intensively managed to maintain their productive and protective functions through cultivation, fertilization, irrigation, pruning, and thinning. Ideally, components are structurally and functionally combined and energetically managed to optimize the positive biophysical interactions between them. In some systems, for example, the trees are regularly coppiced (severely cut back), and the cuttings are applied as mulch to the soil. Such management not only encourages new tree growth but also augments the light levels reaching shaded crops, reduces weeds, and helps to preserve soil moisture (Gold, 2018).

Agroforestry systems

Agroforestry systems were deliberately designed and managed to maximize positive interactions between tree and non-tree components and include a wide range of practices(Kumar, 2016).

Under agroforestry, trees and shrubs are grown in agricultural fields in association with crops, either as single trees, linear formations or woodlots. These trees produce goods such as fuel wood, stakes for climbing beans, fodder, building poles, timber, and fruit and medicines, and provide service functions such as soil conservation and soil fertility replenishment(Ndayambaje & Mohren, 2011a).

The components in agroforestry systems consist of agricultural crops, plant materials and animal species especially livestock. The integration between those components involves agronomic studies that support the selection of those components in agroforestry systems by means of environmental benefits(Salleh & Harun, 2013).

Major types of the agroforestry practice

The differences in content and scope of the various definitions of agroforestry are challenged by an intrinsic quality, which is its broad dynamics across sites. Depending on the available resources, management purpose, and the social, economic, cultural and other attributes of an individual, family or any other human practitioner group, resulting agroforestry systems and practices vary widely(O. M. Jemal, 2018).

Examples of agroforestry practices are Tree home gardens, Woodlot, Windbreaks/shelterbelts, Boundary planting, Live fences, Hedgerow intercropping, improved fallow, Intercropping under scattered or regularly planted trees, trees on rangelands, trees on soil conservation and reclamation structures etc. The practices included here are just a few among the countless and diverse agroforestry practices that exist in Ethiopia(Emiru, 2016).

The most common agroforestry practices in Ethiopia include parkland agroforestry (scattered trees in croplands), home gardens, hedgerow intercropping, riparian zone vegetation, enclosures and natural regeneration of species in woodlands and pasture(Worku, M., & Bantihun, A.,2017).

Alley cropping

Alley cropping includes growing crops (e.g., rains, forages, and vegetables) between trees planted in rows. The spacing between the rows is designed to accommodate the mature size of the trees while leaving room for the planned alley crops. When such sun-loving plants as corn or some herbs are alley cropped, the alleyways need to be wide enough to let in plenty of light even when the trees have matured. Alternatively, the cropping sequence can be planned to change as the trees’ growth decreases the available light(Beetz, 2011).

Alley cropping is an agroforestry practice that places trees within agricultural cropland systems. This system is sometimes called intercropping, especially in equaterial areas. It is especially attractive to producers interested in growing multiple crops on the same acreage to improve whole-farm yield. Growing a variety of crops in close proximity to each other can create significant benefits to producers and help them manage risk. Alley cropping systems change over time. As trees and shrubs grow, they influence the light, water, and nutrient regimes in the field. These interactions are what set alley cropping apart from more common mono cropping systems(Lone.R et,al., 2017).

Alley cropping is one of the agroforestry systems in which food crops are grown in alleys formed by the hedgerows of shrubs that are timely pruned during cropping to prevent shading, to reduce intercrop competition for moisture and nutrients, and to provide green manure for the associated food crops(Ndayambaje & Mohren, 2011a).

Alley cropping is an agroforestry system in which food crops are grown in alleys formed by hedgerows of trees or shrubs. The hedgerows are cut back at planting and kept pruned during cropping to preserve shading and reduce competition with food crops. When there are no crops, the hedgerows are allowed to grow freely. The primary reasons for introducing alley cropping into the farming system are to improve soil fertility, produce fodder and fuel wood, and aid in soil conservation(Bishaw, 2009).

Home gardens

Land around the farmers house with trees are one of agroforestry practices known to be ecologically sustainable and variability livelihood of local community(Beyene, Mohammed, & Nigatu, 2018).

Home gardens have been defined as a small-scale, supplementary food production system by and for household members by resembling the natural, multilayered ecosystem. Home gardens are unique by being near residence, composed of a high diversity of plants, small, and an important source of household subsistence and cash needs(Emiru, 2016).

Home Garden Agroforestry(HGAF) plays an important role and unique land management system because of the potential role in addressing biophysical, economical and socio-ecological components. Such diversity and interaction leads to greater functional and structural complexity as compared to non-tree based garden(Worku, M., & Bantihun, A.,2017).

In the southern region of Ethiopia in general and Lante Kebele in particular homegardens are the widely practiced indigenous agroforestry activities. It is very common to observe multipurpose trees, fruit trees, and vegetables along with livestock in the backyard of many households. In this practice trees like Moringa are widely planted as they supplement the household’s major source of meal throughout the year. Fruits like Mango, Papaya, Lemon, False banana (‘Enset’), Orange, Avocado and Banana are also serving as sources of supplementary food and income generation opportunities(Alemu, 2016).

Species included in homegardens do not show a pre-determined spatial arrangement, with the exception of small plantations of Catha edulis. Rather, the location of individual plants and cohorts is random and conveniently determined by the farmer’s needs. For instance, spices are planted closer to the homestead, or shade-loving crops under fruit trees. In addition, species density is also variable depending on the household and market demand, and generally tends to increase based on the farmers aim to introduce and test potential useful species gathered elsewhere(O. M. Jemal & Callo-concha, 2017).


Windbreak practices (shelterbelts, timber belts, hedgerows, and living snow fences) are planted and managed as part of a crop or livestock operation to enhance crop production, protect crops and livestock, manage snow distribution, and/or control soil erosion. Field windbreaks are used to protect a vari­ety of wind-sensitive row crops, forage, tree, and vine crops to control soil erosion, and to provide other benefits such as improved insect pollination of crops and enhanced wildlife habitat.


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Socio-economic and environmental contributions of agroforestry practice in Lay Armachiho Woreda Amhara region, Ethiopia
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socio-economic, armachiho, woreda, amhara, ethiopia
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Ayanaw Gessesse (Author), 2019, Socio-economic and environmental contributions of agroforestry practice in Lay Armachiho Woreda Amhara region, Ethiopia, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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