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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 768946, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/768946
Research Article

On-Farm Management of Vitellaria paradoxa C. F. Gaertn. in Amuria District, Eastern Uganda

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda

Received 31 October 2011; Accepted 14 December 2011

Academic Editor: Timo Pukkala

Copyright © 2012 Paul Okiror et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The population of shea butter tree (Vitellaria paradoxa C. F. Gaertn.)—a priority tree with enormous economic and cultural values to the parkland communities in Uganda, is rapidly declining due to rapid human population growth, increasing land fragmentation, and high demand for woodfuel especially charcoal. Reversing this trend will depend on the rural community involvement in the planting, facilitating natural regeneration, and tending of shea trees on farm. As such a survey was conducted in Amuria district, eastern Uganda, to assess local strategies and constraints to on-farm management of shea trees, and document socio-demographic factors influencing the on-farm conservation. About 93% of the households protected naturally regenerated V. paradoxa trees mainly on farms. V. paradoxa was mostly propagated through coppices and seedlings. Although insecure land tenure, insecurity, pests, disease, and shortage of planting materials were reported as major hindrances, farmsize, family size, and gender significantly ( 𝑃 0 . 0 5 ) influenced people’s willingness to conserve V. paradoxa. Byelaws and policies on shea conservation need to be properly enforced, and further propagation research is required especially towards shortening the juvenile period of V. paradoxa so that more farmers can start propagating the tree other than relying on its natural regeneration.