Farmers' Perception of Ecosystem Services from Agroforestry Practices in Kenya: The Case of Kakamega County

Sylvester Chisika, Juneyoung Park, Hyemin Park, Chunho Yeom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Agroforests are critical for the provision of ecosystem services and for the sustainability of agricultural landscapes. However, with increasing human demand, agroforests have been declining in many regions worldwide. To reverse this trend, many "greening"measures have been developed and implemented in recent years. But, the effectiveness of these measures depends on the local farmers' perceptions, values, and reactions to the ecosystem services provided by agroforests which remain understudied in many developing countries. This study investigated the farmers' perceptions of ecosystem services provided by farmland trees and forests in Kenya using the case of Kakamega County. Methods: The perceptions of ecosystem services or disservices were analyzed using qualitative and qualitative data from online questionnaires randomly distributed among large-, medium-, and small-scale farmers. Results: The results from the aggregated percentage ranked scores for the perception of surveyed respondents show that more than 50% of large-, medium-, and small-scale farmers agree that agroforests are highly valued for various ecosystem services. Regulatory and provisioning services are ranked fourth and fifth for large- and medium-scale farmers. Cultural ecosystem services are ranked first for large-scale farmers, whereas supporting services are ranked first among medium-scale farmers. Conclusions: Study findings exemplify the growing appreciation of ecosystem services provided by agroforests and associated landscapes in the country, across Africa, and globally. As such, this study suggests that greening policies, measures, and strategies need to better target farmland trees and forest conservation and further adapt to local contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere220016
JournalJournal of Sustainability Research
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • agroforestry
  • ecosystem service
  • farmers' perception
  • farmland trees and forests
  • sustainability

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