The Ecological and Socio-Economic Importance of Faidherbia Albida In Taita and Taveta, Kenya

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Luvanda A.M., R. Wangeci, J. Nicholus, P. Mwendwa*, D. Muchiri, and M. Sheikh

Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya

 

Faidherbia albida is a deciduous and indigenous tree species that is characterized by fast growth and grow up to a height of 30 m tall. The tree has received little management and research attention over the years leading to over-exploitation by the local communities. A study was conducted to identify and document the ecological and socio-economic importance of F. albida in dryland of Taita Taveta in Kenya. The County’s ecological characteristics are influenced by relief and receive rainfall in March-May and October-December every year. Both primary and secondary data was collected and analyzed using SPSS and Excel computer packages. The findings show that Faidherbia albida is used to control soil erosion, fix nitrogen and provide fodder, timber and firewood. The species registered low and varying stocking densities of 15 and 3 trees in Taita and Taveta sub-counties respectively. The conservation of the tree species is as affected by pests and diseases and livestock damage. Therefore, farmers are encouraged to plant and conserve the tree species as a source of secure dry season fodder and fixing nitrogen aimed at minimizing the reliance on artificial fertilizers.

 

Keywords: Faidherbia albida, Fodder; Ecological; Socio-economic; Taita Taveta.

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