Agricultural Biodiversity in Smallholder Farms of East Africa

Sample Chapter
  • Edited Fidelis Kaihura and Michael Stocking

    ISBN-10: 92-808-1088-X,
    ISBN-13: 978-92-808-1088-2
    United Nations University Press
    September 2003

    The rich biodiversity of plants found in smallholder farms in Africa is a storehouse of food, fuel and fibre. This biodiversity provides not only food and beverages and marketable produce, but also supports communities by producing a range of valuable resources from medicines to construction material.

    Smallholder farmers are the guardians as well as the beneficiaries of a greater diversity of biological species than can be found in protected areas. The farmers’s diverse practices are conserving these species for the benefit of future generations. In turn, agricultural biodiversity is a primary way for the poor to cope with difficult biophysical environments and precarious social and political circumstances.

    This book documents how the smallholder farmers of East Africa – in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – are playing their part in the global agenda for the conservation, sustainable use and the equitable sharing of the benefits of biodiversity.


    The United Nations University PLEC project, funded by the Global Environment Facility under the provisions for the Convention on Biological Diversity, is showing how the accumulated knowledge and experience of smallholders and their diverse practices leads to clear benefits for both biodiversity and society. This book draws on lessons learned from farmers, researchers, extension staff, policy-makers and aid agencies co-operating and actively supporting PLEC demonstration sites in East Africa. It shows the very real potential of learning from farmers and basing policy on tried and tested ways of managing complex agricultural systems.

    Fidelis Kaihura is Senior Agricultural Research Officer in Natural Resources Management at Lake Zone Agricultural Research and Development Institute at Ukiriguru, Mwanza, Tanzania. Michael Stocking is Professor of Natural Resource Development and Dean of the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.

    PART I:

  • Introduction to Agricultural Biodiversity in East Africa
  • Agricultural Biodiversity in East Africa – Introduction and Acknowledgements
  • Managing Biodiversity in Agricultural Systems
  • Agro-Biodiversity Potential of Small-holder Farms in a Dissected Highland Plateau of Western Uganda
  • Typical Biodiversity in Home Gardens of Nduuri Location, Runyenjes, Embu, KenyaPART II:
  • Components of Agricultural Biodiversity Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Rainfall in Arumeru District, Arusha Region, Tanzania
  • The Botanical Knowledge of Different Age Groups of the Nduuri Farming Community, Embu, Kenya
  • Diversity of Vegetables and Fruits and their Utilisation among the Nduuri Community of Embu, Kenya
  • The Effect Of Fig Trees (Ficus Sycomorus) on Soil Quality and Coffee Yield: An Investigation into a Traditional Conservation Practice in Embu District, Kenya
  • The Role of Livestock in Soil Fertility and Biodiversity Change in Nduuri Embu, Kenya
  • Household Diversity of Small-Holder farms of Nduuri, Embu, Kenya
  • Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Agrobiodiversity and the Livelihoods of Small-Scale Farmers of Arumeru, Tanzania
  • Agro-diversity of Banana (Musa Spp) Production in Bushwere, Mbarara district, Uganda
  • Changes in Land Use and its Impact on Agricultural Biodiversity in Arumeru, TanzaniaPART III:
  • Farmers’ Perspectives Introduction to Part III Participatory Technology Development and Dissemination: A Methodology to Capture the Farmers’ Perspective
  • Experimenting with Agro-biodiversity Conservation Technologies: My Experiences with Setaria Grass in a Banana Plantation in Uganda
  • The Shared Activities of PLEC Farmers in Arumeru, Tanzania
  • My Experience as a Farmer with the KARI PLEC Team
  • Agrobiodiversity Conservation for the Promotion of Apiculture and Household Welfare in Uganda Farmers’ Evaluation of Soil Management
  • Practices used in Mbarara District, South Western UgandaPART IV:
  • Policy Recommendations
  • Technical and Policy Recommendations for Sustainable Management of Agricultural Biodiversity: Recommendations for Tanzania with Contributions from Meeting Participants
  • Developing Policy and Technical Recommendations for the Conservation of Agricultural Biodiversity in Uganda
  • Contributors
  • Michael Stocking
  • Fidelis B.S. Kaihura
  • Liang Luohui
  • Joy K. Tumuhairwe
  • Charles Nkwiine
  • John N.N Kang’ara
  • Kajuju Kaburu
  • Charles M. Rimui
  • Robert M.L Kingamkono
  • Ezekiah H Ngoroi
  • Seth Amboga
  • Kaburu M’Ribu
  • Barrack Okoba
  • Julius M. Muturi
  • Francis K. Ngugi
  • Immaculate Mwangi
  • Essau E Mwalukasa
  • Edina Kahembe
  • Chris Gumisiriza
  • Francis K. Tumuhairwe
  • Jerry A. Ngailo
  • Freddy P. Baijukya
  • Barnabas J. Kiwambo
  • Frank Muhwezi
  • Freda P. Kipuyo
  • Gidiel L. Loivoi
  • Kisyoki Sambweti
  • Bernard Njeru Njiru
  • Fred Tuhimbisibwe
  • Jovia M. Nuwagaba
  • Manzi N. Mangheni
  • Deusdedit M. Rugangira
  • John B. Kawangolo