Management of Traditional Agroforestry Homegarden and its Contribution to Household Livelihood Diversification in Tembaro District, Southern Ethiopia

Desta Hamore, Belayneh Lemage


Homegarden is more diverse and provides multiple products for farm households. The objective of this study was to record and describe management practices, identifying the contribution of homegarden to household livelihood, assess the structural arrangement as well as factors affecting species diversity of the practice at Tembaro district, Southern Ethiopia. For this study, socio-economic data were collected from 120 households by using semi-structured questionnaires. Structural arrangement data were collected during the field survey. A total of 29 woody species categorized under 22 families were recorded in the homegarden agroforestry of the study area. Woody species richness and abundance were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in richer household than medium and poor once in both study kebeles. Coffee arabica, Cordial africana, Persea americana and Mangifera indica are the most frequently recorded woody species in both sites. The highest diversity indices were recorded at Debub Ambukuna than Sigezo, due to environmental and socioeconomic factors. Species composition depends on the farmer’s preference and attribute of preferred species. This study has identified three different vertical arrangements and 4-6 horizontal compartments in both study sites. The farm households have benefited with different outputs from this practice. To sustain production, farmers carried out different management practices. Each household’s members have been participating in homegarden management. However, women have been involved in more responsibilities than other members in each study sites. Managing species diversity associated with different factors, socioeconomic once are the most determinants. Institutional intervention is important on infrastructural issues in growing and diversifying economically valuable plant species in homegarden agroforestry and to improve the rural community in facility service to encourage the exchange products effectively and efficiently. Further study is needed in management practices of each component in homegarden agroforestry and improvement of production and productivity obtained from the homegarden agroforestry.


Arrangement of homegarden, vegetable and spice crops, woody species diversity

Full Text:



Abdoellah, O.S. (1990). Homegardens in West Java and their future development. pp. 69–79. In: Landauer K. and Brazil M. (eds), Tropical Homegardens, United Nations University Press, Tokyo.

Abdoellah, O.S., Parikesit; Gunawan, B., and Hadikusumah, H.Y. (2002). Home gardens in the upper Citarum watershed, West Java: A challenge for in situ conservation of plant genetic resources. Proceedings of the Second International Home Gardens Workshop, 17-19 July 2001, Witzenhausen, Germany. IPGRI, Rome, Italy, p. 140-147.

Abebe, T. (2005). Diversity in homegarden agroforestry systems in Southern Ethiopia. PhD. Thesis. Wageningen University, Wageningen. P. 153

Abebe, T., Wiersum K.F., and Bongers, F. (2010). Spatial and temporal variation in crop diversity in agroforestry homegardens of southern Ethiopia. Agroforest Syst 78:309-322

Achalu, N., and Negash, M. (2006). Indigenous Agroforestry Practices and their Implications on Sustainable Land Use and Natural Resources Management: The Case of Wonago Woreda. Research Report No 1. Sustainable Land Use Forum (SLUF). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Alam, M.S., Masum, K.M., and Mamum-Or-Rashid (2005). Tree Species Diversity and Management Practices of Woodlot in Homegarden of the Offshore Island of Bangladesh. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 8 (4): 561-566

Albuquerquea, U.P., Andrade, L.H.C., and Caballero, J. (2005). Structure and Floristic composition of Homegardens in Northeastern Brazil. Journal of Arid Environments, 62: 491–506.

Asfaw, Z. (2002). Home gardens in Ethiopia: some observations and generalizations. In: Waston and Eyzaguirre (eds). Proceeding of the second international homegardens workshop: contribution of homegarden to in situ conservation of plant genetic resources in farming systems, Witzenhausen. Federal Republic of Germany. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome. PP. 125-139

Asfaw, Z. (2003). Tree Species Diversity, Top Soil Conditions and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Association in the Sidama Traditional Agroforestry Land-Use, Southern Ethiopia. PhD. Thesis. Swedish University of Agriculture, Uppsala, Sweden

Asfaw, Z., and Ågren, G. (2007). Farmers’ local knowledge and topsoil properties of agroforestry practices in Sidama, Southern Ethiopia. Agroforestry Systems 71:35–48

Asfaw, Z., and Nigatu, A. (1995). Home-gardens in Ethiopia: Characteristics and plant diversity. SINET: Ethiop. J. Sci., 18 (2): 235-266.

Asfaw, Z., and Woldu, Z. (1997). Crop association of home-gardens in Welayta and Gurage in southern Ethiopia. SINET: Ethiop. Journal of science, 20(1):73-90.

Bekele, A. (2007). Useful Trees of Ethiopia: Identification, Propagation and Management in 17 Agro- ecological Zones. Nairobi: RELMA in ICRAF Project 552pp.

Bishaw, B., and Abdelkadir, A. (2003). Agroforestry and Community Forestry for Rehabilitation of Degraded Watersheds on the Ethiopian Highlands. International Symposium on Contemporary Development Issues in Ethiopia, July 11-12, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 22 pp.

Christanty, L. (1990). Home-gardens in Tropical Asia, with special reference to Indonesia. In: Tropical Home-Gardens, pp. 9-20 (Landauer, K. and Brazil, M., eds.). United Nations University Press, Tokyo.

Das, T., and Das, A. K. (2005). Inventorying Plant Biodiversity in Homegardens: A Case Study in Barak Valley, Assam, North East India. Current Science 89(1): 155-163

De Clerck F.A.J., and Negreros-Castillo P. (2000). Plant species of traditional Mayan homegardens of Mexico as analogs for multistrata agroforests. Agroforest Syst 48: 303–317

Den Biggelaar, C. (1996). Farmer experimentation and innovation: a case study of knowledge generation process in agroforestry systems in Rwanda. In: Nancy, H. (ed) Community forestry Case Study Series 12, FAO, Rome. 123pp

Edwards, S., Mesfin T., and Hedberg I. (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea, Vol. 2, Part 2. The National Herbarium. Addis Abeba University/Department of Systematic Botany, Uppsala University, Addis Ababa/Uppsala. 456 pp.

Fernandes, E.C.M., and Nair, P.K.R. (1986). An evolution of the structure and function of tropical homegardens. ICRAF. Working Paper No. 38. Nairobi, Kenya.

Gajaseni, J., and Gajaseni, N. (1999). Ecological rationalities of the traditional homegarden system in the Chao Phraya Basin, Thailand. Agroforest Syst 46: 3–23.

Gebauer, J. (2005). Plant Species Diversity of Home Gardens in El Obeid, Central Sudan. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics 106 (2): 97–103

Hochegger, K. (1998). Farming Like the Forest - Traditional Home Garden Systems in Sri Lanka. Margraf Verlag, Weikersheim, Germany, 203 pp.

Hodel, U., Gessler, M., Cai H.H., Thoan, V.V., Ha, N.V., Thu, N.X., and Ba, T., (1999). In situ conservation of plant genetic resources in homegardens of Southern Vietnam. IPGRI, Rome, Italy, 106 pp.

Jama, B., Elias, E., and Mogotsi K. (2006). Role of agroforestry in improving food. Journal of the Drylands 1(2): 206-211

Karyono (1990). Home Gardens in Java. Their Structure and Function. In: Landauer, K.; Brazil, M. (eds.). Tropical Home Gardens. The United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan, p. 138-146.

Krebs, C.J. (1985). Ecology: The experimental analysis of distribution and abundance. Harper & Row Publishers, New York. 800 pp.

Kumar, BM., and Nair P.K.R. (2004). The enigma of tropical homegardens. Agroforestry Systems, 61: 135–152.

Lovett, P.N., and Haq, N. (2000). Evidence for anthropic selection of the sheanut tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). Agroforestry systems 48:273-288. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands.

Mekonen, T. (2010). Homegardens Agro biodiversity Conservation in Sebeta-Hawas Wereda, Southwestern Shewa Zone of Oromia Region, Ethiopia. MSc thesis. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.78 pp.

Mendez, V.E., Lok, R., and Somarriba, E. (2001). Interdisciplinary analysis of homegardens in Nicaragua: micro-zonation, plant use and socioeconomic importance. Agroforest Syst 51: 85–96.

Mengistu, F. (2008). Fruit tree species in the wild and in homegarden agroforestry: species composition, diversity and utilization in western Amhara region, Ethiopia. PhD. Thesis. Vienna University, Vienna. 207 pp.

Millat-e-Mustafa, M. (1998). Overview of Research in Home-garden Systems. In: Applied Ethnobotany in Natural Resource Management Traditional Home-gardens, pp. 13-19 (Rastogi, A., Godbole, A. and Shengji, P., eds.). International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Moges, Y. (2009). The impact of overstorey trees on sustainable coffee (Coffea arabica L.) Production in southern Ethiopia. PhD Dissertation, Horizonte Bd. 25, Der Andere Verlag, Tönning, Lübeck and Marburg

Nair, P.K.R. (1993). An Introduction to Agroforestry. Kluwer Academic Publishers-ICRAF. P. 489

Reshad, M. (2006). Farm characteristics and tree species diversity in Arbegona district, highlands of southern Ethiopia. M.Sc. Thesis, Hawassa University, Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resource, Ethiopia

Salam, M.A., Noguchi, T., and Koike, M. (2000). Understanding why farmers plant trees in the homestead Agroforestry in Bangladesh. Agroforestry systems 50(1): 77-93

Sandya Kumari, M.A. (2009). Plant diversity in home gardens and its contribution to household economy in Suburban areas in Sri Lanka. MSc. Thesis. Mahidol University, Thailand

Soemarwoto, O. (1987). Homegardens: A traditional agroforestery system with promising future. In: Agroforestery a decade of development, Pp. 157-172. (Steppler, H.A and Nair, P.K.R., eds.). ICRAF, Nairobi, Kenya.

Sunwar, S. (2003). Home gardens in western Nepal: Opportunities and challenges for on farm management of agro biodiversity. MSc thesis. Swedish Biodiversity Centre. No. 29.

Sunwar, S., Thornstrom, C., Subedi, A., and Bystrom, M. (2006). Homegardens in Western Nepal: Opportunities and challenges for on-farm management of agro-biodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation, 15: 4211-4238.

Tolera, M. (2006). Woody species diversity of agricultural landscapes in Arsi Negelle District, Ethiopia: Implications for biodiversity conservation. MSc thesis, University of Hawassa, Wondo Genet College of Forestry, Wondo Genet, Ethiopia.

Tolera, M., Asfaw, Z., Lemenih, M., and Karltun, E. (2008). Woody species diversity in a changing landscape in the south-central highlands of Ethiopia. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 128: 52–58

Wajtkowski, A. (1998). The Theory and Practice of Agroforestry Design. A comprehensive study of the theories, concepts and conventions that underline the successful use of agroforestry. Science publishers, Inc. U. S. A. 282 pp.

Warner, K. (1993). Patterns of farmer tree growing in Eastern Africa.: A socio-economic analysis. Tropical Forestry Paper no.27. Oxford Forestry Institute and Nairobi: ICRAF. 27pp.

Zaman, S., Siddiquee, S. U., and Katoh, M. (2010). Structure and Diversity of Homegarden Agroforestry in Thakurgaon District, Bangladesh. The Open Forest Science Journal 3: 38-44


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.