AGROFORESTRY CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF HOUSEHOLDS IN OKIGWE AGRICULTURAL ZONE OF IMO STATE, SOUTH EASTERN NIGERIA
Keywords:Agro forestry, Okigwe, Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), socio-economic
The research study investigated the contributions of agroforestry in Imo State with the view of finding out its relevance to socio-economic development of the study area. The aim of the research is to demonstrate whether agro forestry makes an important contribution to the economic and social development of households of the study area. The specific objective among others is to document the major agro forestry practices and products in the study area. In undertaking this research, 450 copies of questionnaire were distributed among three local government areas in the zone, and 433 copies were retrieved representing 96.2% of the sample population. A randomized quota sampling technique was used to administer the questionnaire to the respondents. The result revealed that agro forestry is an economic activity in the study area but not a major one; agro forestry does not contribute significantly to poverty reduction in the area; and that it is practiced by more males than female and by more of the people of above 55 years of age, than any other age cohorts. It was also observed that there is little or no government intervention in agro forestry in Imo State. The study also concluded that agro forestry can be a source of boost to the economy of Imo
State if there should be adequate investment and commitment by the government of the day and attitudinal change among individual farmers. The study also gave recommendation which range from education and research to policy reform.