Determinants of households' participation in NGO-supported agroforestry activities in Kakamega forest, Kenya
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Kakamega Forest, the only remaining rainforest in Kenya and the furthest eastern remnant of the Guinea-Congolean belt, has declined by 20% in the last 30 years due to population pressure and encroachment. This has led to a shift of focus by households from getting goods and services from the Kakamega Forest to participating in agroforestry activities around the forest. However participation of households in the NGO-supported agroforestry programmes has not been expanding as expected and the drivers of participation are not known. Against this background, this paper aims at analyzing factors influencing households' participation in NGO agro-forestry activities that indirectly support conservation of Kakamega Forest. Multistage sampling was applied in selecting a sample of 122 households that were interviewed in order to collect data for this study. Heckman two-stage estimation procedure was employed, first to determine factors that influence households' probability of participation in NGO-supported agroforestry activities and second to estimate factors influencing the extent of participation. The results indicate that gender, education and off-farm income significantly and positively influenced participation of households' in NGO-supported agroforestry activities while age and distance to the market were significant with negative effects. For the extent of households' participation in NGO-supported agroforestry activities gender and education were found to be significant with positive effects. The study's conclusion is that these factors form important drivers of households' participation in NGO-supported agroforestry activities and should therefore not be ignored by policy makers and development practitioners. The study recommends that younger household heads and female headed households should be targeted to boost participation. There should be investment in education and creation of off-farm employment opportunities. Constraints hampering development of markets should also be addressed if participation in NGO-supported agroforestry activities is to be enhanced in the study area.