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Farm Level Tree Planting in Pakistan: The Role of Farmers’ Perceptions and Attitudes
- Zubair, Muhammad, Garforth, Chris
- Agroforestry systems 2006 v.66 no.3 pp. 217-229
- attitudes and opinions, farm forestry, farmers, farms, forests, fuelwood, furniture, humans, income, markets, pests, planting, pollution, surveys, trees, Pakistan
- The low proportion of forested land and continuing degradation of existing forest cover are serious threats to the sustainability of forestry in Pakistan. Farm forestry has been identified as a feasible solution, particularly in the plain areas. Applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour in a survey of 124 farmers in Dera Ismail Khan district of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province showed that farmers’ willingness to grow trees on their farms is a function of their attitudes towards the advantages and disadvantages of growing trees, their perception of the opinions of salient referents and factors that encourage and discourage farm level tree planting. Farmers viewed farm forestry as economically beneficial and environmentally friendly. Tree planting was perceived as increasing income, providing wood for fuel and furniture, controlling erosion and pollution and providing shade for humans and animals. Farmers saw hindrance in agricultural operations and the harbouring of insects, pests and diseases as negative impacts of tree planting; however, these were outweighed by their perceptions of positive impacts. Tree growing decisions of farmers were influenced by the opinions of family members, owners/tenants, fellow farmers and village elders. The factors that significantly predicted farm level tree planting were availability of barren land, lack of markets, lack of nurseries and damage caused by animals and humans. Farm forestry programmes are more likely to be successful if they acknowledge and address the factors which underlie farmers’ reasons for planting or not planting trees.