Effects of Household Characteristics on Homegarden Characteristics in Kalaroa Upazila, Satkhira District, Bangladesh
Because trees cover only 6.4% of the total land area of Bangladesh, while agricultural expansion continues to massively deplete the natural forests, a well-managed homestead forestry practice is vital for reversing the existing trend and promoting the ecological balance of the country. An understanding of the decision-making process of the farmers who practice homestead forestry is important in expanding and improving the practice. This paper seeks to characterize and analyze factors influencing farmers' decisions about tree planting. Logistic and multiple regression analyses were applied to determine the factors that influence the farmers' tree-planting decisions. The analyses demonstrate a number of important conclusions: (i) tree-planting increases with the amount of homestead land owned; (ii) farmers whose main source of income is non-agricultural are more likely to decide to plant trees in the homestead; (iii) purchasing cost of fuelwood has a positive influence on tree-planting decisions; (iv) number of male family member has a positive influence on farmers' tree-planting decisions; and (v) knowledge of the activities of the forestry extension programs has a positive influence on tree-planting decisions. The results of the study demonstrate that, in recent years, farmers' decisions of whether or not to plant trees have been based primarily on economic rather than ecological concerns. It is concluded that there is substantial potential for the improvement of homestead forestry, and that properly managed homestead forestry can alleviate the poverty of rural people by increasing overall household income. To this end, it is suggested that forestry extension workers work more closely with the local people in order to implement homestead forestry.