Farmer co-designed agroforestry initiative reduces field residue removal by subsistence farmers in Kenya

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This study will evaluate the magnitude and origins of plant biomass use in everyday small-holder farmer households. Implementation of farmer co-designed agroforestry practices as an offset to current post-harvest field residue collection and transition processes associated will be assessed. We hypothesize that post-harvest crop residue use is critical to current subsistence strategies. It is further hypothesized that co-designed alternative resources will mitigate farmer need to remove post-harvest field residue. Transitional timing has been established through recorded biomass weight and results suggest that household use on average 17 Kg of plant biomass per household member per month. Plant biomass mitigation, as a result of newly planted alternative agroforestry sources, has occurred as early as February 2013 (six months after planting). System cascades associated with changes in plant biomass use will be assessed through December 2013. Conservation agriculture practices (CAP) encourage smallholder farmers to leave post-harvest residue on soil surface to improve soil fertility and overall agroecosystem sustainability. However, pressures associated with post-harvest residue utilization for household food preparation use and animal fodder limit adoption. Therefore it is important to identify alterative farmer adoptive resources for this purpose. Abstract published by Laramie, WY: University of Wyoming Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Office.



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University of Wyoming Undergraduate Research Day Symposium, 26 April 2013