Trees, land, and labor by Peter A. Dewees

By Peter A. Dewees

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By Peter A. Dewees

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Extra resources for Trees, land, and labor

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Firstly, strong traditions of tree cultivation and management in Kenya are partly rooted in history and culture. This view has been tested and developed in a parallel case study by examining the history of land and tree tenure in Murang'a District of Kenya from the pre-Colonial through the post-Independence period. 3 Secondly, tree growing plays an important role in the rural economy and may be an outcome of quite particular household labor, land and capital allocation strategies. This is the subject of this paper, which examines the adoption of one particular practicethe growing of woodlots of Acacia mearnsii (black wattle) on smallholdings in Murang'a District of Kenyaand which seeks to go beyond the role of markets for tree products, by themselves, as an incentive for smallholder tree growing to deal more broadly with trees vis-a-vis other household resource allocation opportunities.

Around 75 percent of the households which operate parcels which were formerly used for growing woodlots and only 57 percent of woodlot growing households, were dependent on rivers for their water supply. The balance of supplies were provided by onfarm sources, either from wells or piped water. 60). Assets Households were questioned about the extent of their physical assets, such as the number of radios, bicycles, as well as the type and quality of their dwellings. There were no significant differences between groups of households in these respects.

The final grouping included other uncultivated areas such as the homestead, bush, fallow, or woodlots of other species (principally cypress and eucalyptus). Differences in land-use Parceis which are currently being used for cultivating woodlots are generally larger, by around 30 percent, than parcels which were used for growing woodlots in 1967 but which have since been cleared. Woodlots account for around 30 percent of the total parcel area on woodlot growing parcels. Smallholder coffee and tea account for the largest proportionate areas in both sets of parcels, in aggregate occupying 36 percent of woodlot growing parcels, and 57 percent of parcels which have been cleared of their woodlots.

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