Modelling Determinants of Tree Planting and Retention on Farm for Improvement of Forest Cover in Central Kenya

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Farm forestry has proved to be an important enterprise for small- and large-scale farmers worldwide. It has the potential of improving forest/tree cover across the globe. In Kenya, the forest cover is less than 2%. The country envisions achieving 10% forest cover over the next decade through promotion of farm forestry. However, the decision to plant trees on farmers’ land could be difficult. The study aimed to analyze the determinants of tree retention on farm for improvement of forest cover. Stratified and simple random sampling techniques were used in selecting 209 farmers. The results showed that sites, land size, age, education evel, monthly income, tree management, extension services, availability of markets, harvesting regulation, and aesthetic and environmental motivation were significant determinants of tree retention. In particular, the chances of farmers who had gained technical skills in tree management were about 2.2 times higher to retain trees as compared to those who had not acquired such skills. Similarly, chances of farmers motivated to plant trees for environmental conservation were about 3.5 times higher to retain trees as compared to the group of farmers planting trees as a source of livelihood. These determinants would be instrumental in strengthening the current policies and reforms in forestry and agricultural sectors to enable Kenya to achieve 10% of forest cover.

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