Local knowledge about trees and ecosystem services in coffee plantations in Rubavu and Rutsiro districts, Rwanda uri icon

abstract

  • The research was conducted during September - November 2009, within CAFNETâ??s areas of operation in Rubavu and Rutsiro districts, Rwanda. The main purpose of this research was to gather farmersâ?? agroecological knowledge, about trees, their interactions with coffee and other components of the shaded coffee systems, farming practices and how they impacted on coffee production and ecosystem services provision as well as the surrounding environment. A systematic approach mainly using repeated semi - structured interviews was used for acquiring knowledge about the coffee farm components, their interactions and the environmental services realised from the system. Other methods used were; focus group discussions, ranking exercises, diagram sketching, visual aids and informal talks. At the end of fieldwork in each study site, a feedback session was held in the community. Major findings were; coffee ( C. Arabica) was the main cash crop grown in the study area as well as the country, no intercropping (food crops) was permitted on coffee farms. Planting trees on coffee farms was a usual practice for it was inevitable because the area was hilly; the majority of farmers operated on a small scale and would hardly afford intensive management of full - sun coffee. Farmer s had detailed knowledge about trees and ecosystems services from the coffee agroforestry system. Ecosystem services provision largely depended on the systemâ??s components. Farmersâ?? rationale for selecting coffee shade trees was mainly based on the tree attributes and their preference differed between locations

publication date

  • 2010