The role of women farmers in choosing species for agroforestry farming systems in rural areas of Ghana

TitleThe role of women farmers in choosing species for agroforestry farming systems in rural areas of Ghana
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsOwusu-Bempah, K
EditorPoats, SV, Schmink, M, Spring, A
Book TitleGender issues in farming systems research and extension
Date Published1988
PublisherWestview Press
CityBoulder, CO
Call NumberS494.5.S95G46 1988
Keywordsagroforestry; medicinal plants

This paper discusses the three basic types of agroforestry systems:

  1. Agrosiliviculture systems (integration of forest trees with agricultural crops);
  2. silvopastorial systems (integration of forest trees and livestock); and
  3. agrosilvopastorial systems (integration of forest trees, agricultural crops, and livestock).

The paper continues by pointing out specific findings from farms surveys conducted in the rural Forest Savannah Transitional Zone of Ghana:

  1. Food, nutrition, health, and energy (fuelwood) are more important to women farmers than income, clothes, and social status which are comparably more important to men farmers.
  2. Traditional subsistence agroforestry farmers (mostly women), capable of selling between 45-50 percent of their surplus products, acknowledged the benefits of forest trees and proposed the most useful trees for the new agroforestry system.
  3. Multiple purpose local trees like Puvolfia vomitoria, Alsotoia boonei, Terapleura tetraplera, and Fagara xanthoxeyoides, as well as foreign species like Leucaena leucocephala and Gliriadia speim, have high potential of being accepted by farmers in the forest savannah transitional zone.
  4. Female farmers were found to be better conservators and more resourceful than their male counterparts.
  5. An agroforestry package that integrates local livestock with forest trees to ensure adequate forage, especially for sheep and goats during the dry season, would be readily adopted by the subsistence farmers. A similar package favoring cattle would be favored by commercial farmers.
  6. Plants with medicinal or healing properties had the highest probability of being accepted for both agroforestry and conservation purposes (author)

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