Would strictly enforced forestry regulations affect farmers’ stated intentions to plant indigenous fruits trees? Insights from Cameroon uri icon

abstract

  • From theory it is expected that forestry laws and regulations affect the adoption of agroforestry technologies, such as planting of indigenous fruit trees. These trees are important sources of nutrients and income to thousands of farmers. However data on farmers' perceptions and behaviour towards such policy instruments are scarce and contradictory. Based on data collected from 394 households in Cameroon, using a structured questionnaire, farmers' awareness, perception and willingness to accept policy instruments governing on-farm trees were assessed. The study further investigated whether the policy instruments would affect their intentions to plant selected indigenous fruit trees on their farms. The analysis found that a majority of farmers are unaware of the laws governing access and trade in indigenous fruit tree species. Furthermore, even if strictly applied, a significant majority of farmers (60%) would not be discouraged by the regulations, from planting trees on their farms because it constitutes part of their traditional farming practices. Yet, the authors argue that planting of indigenous fruit tree species could increase under simplified rules, as 40% of the farmers do claim they would refuse to plant such trees if existing regulations are strictly enforced. The study therefore concludes that there is a need for new policies to attract more farmers to integrate indigenous fruit trees on their farms. Given the current trend to encourage on-farm tree planting to address food security and climate change issues, this is especially relevant
  • From theory it is expected that forestry laws and regulations affect the adoption of agroforestry technologies, such as planting of indigenous fruit trees. These trees are important sources of nutrients and income to thousands of farmers. However data on farmers' perceptions and behaviour towards such policy instruments are scarce and contradictory. Based on data collected from 394 households in Cameroon, using a structured questionnaire, farmers' awareness, perception and willingness to accept policy instruments governing on-farm trees were assessed. The study further investigated whether the policy instruments would affect their intentions to plant selected indigenous fruit trees on their farms. The analysis found that a majority of farmers are unaware of the laws governing access and trade in indigenous fruit tree species. Furthermore, even if strictly applied, a significant majority of farmers (60%) would not be discouraged by the regulations, from planting trees on their farms because it constitutes part of their traditional farming practices. Yet, the authors argue that planting of indigenous fruit tree species could increase under simplified rules, as 40% of the farmers do claim they would refuse to plant such trees if existing regulations are strictly enforced. The study therefore concludes that there is a need for new policies to attract more farmers to integrate indigenous fruit trees on their farms. Given the current trend to encourage on-farm tree planting to address food security and climate change issues, this is especially relevant. (c) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014
  • 2014