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Local Agroforestry Practices for Food and Nutrition Security of Smallholder Farm Households in Southwestern Ethiopia

Food and nutrition security (FNS) rests on five pillars: availability, access, utilization, stability, and sovereignty. We assessed the potentials of local agroforestry practices (AFPs) for enabling FNS for smallholders in the Yayu Biosphere Reserve (southwestern Ethiopia). Data was collected from 300 households in a stratified random sampling scheme through semi-structured interviews and farm inventory. Utility, edibility, and marketability value were the key parameters used to determine the potential of plants in the AFPs. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and correlation analysis were employed to determine the form, variation, and association of local AFP attributes. Homegarden, multistorey-coffee-system, and multipurpose-trees-on-farmlands are the predominant AFPs in Yayu. Multipurpose-trees-on-farmlands are used mainly for food production, multistorey-coffee-system for income-generation, and homegarden for both. The 127 useful plant species identified represent 10 major plant utility groups, with seven (food, fodder, fuel, coffee-shade, timber, non-timber-forest-products, and medicinal uses) found in all three AFPs. In total, 80 edible species were identified across all AFPs, with 55 being primarily cultivated for household food supply. Generally, household income emanates from four major sources, multistorey-coffee-system (60%), homegarden (18%), multipurpose-trees-on-farmlands (13%), and off-farm activities (11%). Given this variation in form, purpose, and extracted benefits, existing AFPs in Yayu support the FNS of smallholders in multiple ways.

Jemal Omarsherif, Callo-Concha Daniel, van Noordwijk Meine
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