The Roles of Trees on Farms in Uganda: Current Status and Policy Recommendations for Future Development
With about 90% smallholder farmers reporting planting, growing, and protecting trees on their farms in Uganda (UBOS, 2014), Trees on Farm (TonF) have an important role to play socially, economically, and ecologically. Despite their importance, there is no established mechanism to report on Trees on Farms in national environmental statistics as well as natural capital accounting and valuation of ecosystem services; thus their contribution is least appreciated. Because of institutional separation of forestry and agriculture sectors, policy support for TonF remains insufficient.
Consequently, agribusiness value chains associated with TonF, are least developed, and their contribution to household economies is overshadowed by products and services from natural forests and forest plantations. This brief therefore presents a case for TonF, justifying the need for stronger policy recommendations and actions, the inclusion of TonF into natural capital accounts and valuation of ecosystem services, appreciation of their contribution to food security, and resilience to climate catastrophes.