International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 625

Full Length Research Paper

Agroforestry practices and flora composition in backyards in Hiwane, Hintalo Wejerat of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

Tsegazeabe H. Haileselasie1,2* and Mekonen T. G. Hiwot1
  1Mekelle University, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Department of Biology, Ethiopia. 2Mekelle University, College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources Management (St.),Ethiopia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 14 February 2012
  •  Published: 15 May 2012



Backyard (home garden) agroforestry practice is most popular in the northern part of the country. This backyard agroforestry is practiced as a mixture of crops (vegetables, herbs) and trees (fruits and fodder trees) to provide diversified products to the cultivators. This study found over 40 species of plants maintained in home garden of the study area. Furthermore, agroforestry practice in backyard has a crucial role in the improvement of livelihoods to small scale farmers in the study area through direct subsistence production, indirect subsistence production (such as foods, fuel wood, fodder and shade to the cultivators) and income generation. Furthermore, it has helped to conserve many species of plants in a small areas with providing diversify needs to the farmers. However, we found that availability of water has significantly affected the home garden plant species diversity (t-test, n = 13, p < 0.05). Additionally, there is a high correlation between the diversity of vegetables (leafy, fruit and root and tuber crops, spice and herbs in combination) kept in backyards and availability of water (Number of plant species = 6.11767 (± 0.14790) -0.27023 (± 0.01349) distance from the river r= 0.9733, F1, 11 = 401.1 (P < 0.001) planting trees provide rural households with wood products for own consumption as well for sale and play role in decreasing soil degradation. Furthermore, our findings also suggest that households consider a number of attributes in making decision to backyard agroforestry practice. These results can be used by policy makers to promote home garden agroforestry practice in the study area by creating conducive water supply and considering households’ backyard size and roofing system.


Key words: Agroforestry, home garden, backyard, Ethiopia, Tigray.