Terminalia brownii (Fresen) is one of the drought-resistant treespecies that support livelihoods in the rural households of Eastern Kenya. The tree is preferred for its versatile functions such as; medicinal use, carvings, energy, construction, and cultural reasons. In this regard, there has been an increased demand for Fresen products which include; charcoal, poles, posts, bee-hives, nativities among others. Forestry stakeholders, researchers among other tree promoters have been at the pole position to support the propagation of this species through various programs. It is therefore vital to comprehend the determinants of the distribution of the species among farmers in Eastern Kenya. The study documents various uses of the species in the study area. A semi-structured questionnaire and direct observations were used to interview a total of 346 farmers selected through a multistage sampling procedure. Descriptive statistics and a logarithmic logistical econometric model were adopted for data analysis. Results revealed that most of the farmers preferred the species for; firewood, quality charcoals, prevention of soil erosions, poles and posts, medicinal use, and carvings. The size of the farm, income from the sale of livestock, and the land tenure system were the key determinants of the distribution of the species. Policies should focus more on the issuance of legal documents particularly title deeds which will motivate farmers to domesticate the species. Further, programs should be designed to strengthen livestock production and marketing which serves as a diversification strategy given the erratic nature of rainfall patterns.
Key words: Domestication, livelihoods, socio-economics, diversification.
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