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  • Author: Zerihun Kebebew x
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Abstract

Despite their restriction, smallholder farmers have been continuing growing Eucalyptus globulus in the cultivated land in the central highland of Ethiopia. Literature has shown controversial issues against E. globulus. Therefore, the objective of the study was to investigate the compatibility of E. globulus in the smallholder farmers’ land use system. Soil samples were collected from five different land uses and analysed for selected physical and chemical properties. The socioeconomic contribution of E. globulus was collected through household surveys from 110 households. Analysis of soil showed that organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen (TN) and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were significantly higher (P<0.05) under E. globulus compared to the cultivated land. The survey results also showed that the largest proportion (58%) of households was interested in growing E. globulus because of its multiple uses. About 83% of households responded that E. globulus help them to attain food security through increasing the purchasing power of smallholder farmers to buy agricultural inputs and food. This study has substantiated the role of E. globulus in the land use system of smallholder farmers. Most of the soil fertility indicators were better under E. globulus. The present finding reveals that E. globulus degrade the soil seemingly difficult to generalise. Growing E. globulus must be promoted under appealing land use to enhance smallholder farmers’ livelihoods. Removing E. globulus from the land use system may jeopardise the food security situation of many households.

Abstract

The southwest Ethiopian Afromontane moist forests are recognized as one of the biodiversity hotspots as they are the centres of origin and domestication of Arabica coffee. But they are under threat due to deforestation and conversion to coffee farms. Coffee agroforests are believed to buffer the natural forest from these threats. The study was conducted to investigate the importance of coffee agroforest adjacent to Belete forest southwest Ethiopia. Vegetation data were collected from 68 plots (34 each) and socioeconomic data were collected from 136 households (68 each). The results showed that statistically, there were no significant differences between the natural forest and adjacent coffee agroforests in the species composition, species richness and Shannon diversity index of the woody species(P > 0.05). The socioeconomic benefit result showed a number of forest products that are collected from the coffee agroforest. There were statistically significant differences between the natural forest and coffee agroforest in the forest income and the Simpson Diversification Index of the households (p < 0.05). Coffee agroforests contribute to the conservation of woody species through the retention of woody species and reducing pressure on the natural forest. Therefore, the socioeconomic benefits of coffee agroforests must take into account the conservation of woody species in linking the conservation and development arena.