Effects of farmer managed natural regeneration on livelihoods in semi-arid West Africa
This paper used a multivalued treatment framework to assess the effects of farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR) on selected outcomes among 1080 rural household farmers in the Sahelian and Sudano-Sahelian ecozone of West Africa Sahel. The results indicate that keeping, protecting and managing trees in the farmland have significant effects on the livelihoods of the rural poor in the Sahelian countries. If 1000 households in a community decide to practice the FMNR continuously, it results in an increase in the gross income by US$ 72,000 per year. Noticeable changes are also observed on the value of tree products, with an observed significant increase in the value of the products harvested from tree by about 34–38 % among those actively practicing FMNR as compared to their counterparts. The results also lend support to the household resilience hypothesis of FMNR in that it leads to a significant increase of the dietary diversity by about 12–14 %. However, it also appeared that several factors impeded the regeneration of trees on farms. To foster the widespread dissemination and enhance the capacity of farmers to increase, diversify and sustain tree-based production systems, an enabling institutional, technical and policy environment needs to be promoted.