The Niche of Tree And Crop in Traditional Home Garden Agro-forestry System- In Case of Agro-biodiversity Conservation at Farm Level in Boricha and Wondo Genet, Sidama, SNNPRs Ethiopia
The study was carried in traditional home garden agro-forestry farming system in two districts of Sidama, SNNPR Ethiopia. Data was collected by using structural questioners from ninety households including both men and women in the family. In addition to interview a group discussion and farming system observation had been carried to check the respondents answer realty in the areas. The objectives of this study is to identify the ideal tree and crops species grown in traditional home garden agro-forestry system which enhance agro biodiversity, productivity of the land and improve the income of farmers. The study shows that large number of agro-biodiversity was found in near to house of the farmers and decreases far from houses dramatically. Home garden conserves a variety of trees including fruits, firewood, construction, forage, soil enriching and shade for understory crops. The tree species which is broad leaves and leguminous families found near to house and inside the farming plot.They also grows high diversity of vegetables, medicinal plants and spices in their home gardens near to houses. Most of this crop grown near to house to use house residue as organic fertilizer for the crops grown in mixed home garden agroforestry. High nutrient required and have negative effects for the growth of underneath crops maintained at boundary plant, fence and woodlot near to degraded land. Thus tree species conserve for the sack of fuel and construction wood supply for their households. In case of agro biodiversity conservation the results shows that 61 tree and 46 crop and shrub species were
cultivated in traditional home gardens. The high species abundances and richness was observed in Boricha are directly related with the preferences of farmers to cope with climate change stresses. The density of species is significant at (P<0.05) with distance to local market, wealth and number of cattle in home gardens. The large farmsize holding in both sites have small number of species. Farmers having small land size have many in number of trees and species richness thus is mostly large land holding farmers prefers mono cropping than mixed with other crops. The management of agro biodiversity in home garden was mainly carried by women. Almost 90 percent of crop and 10 percent tree species including vegetables, spices , medicinal, ecstatic , fruit and legumes are responsible to conserve by women in study areas. There also finds that farmers have indigenous knowledge in maintaining and conserving of each crop and tree species niche in their farm for their social, economic and environmental benefits. Attention will be given for this knowledge to intervene agro biodiversity conservation activities to select most appropriate conservation strategies. In summer, the livelihood of farmers in the study areas are highly dependent on biodiversity in their farms at ideal niche for each species to fill the need of smallholder farmers. How well these resources are managed determines the quality of life of the people and the sustainability of the production system.