Socio-economic factors influencing Afzelia africana Sm. use value and traditional knowledge in Uganda: implications for sustainable management

Abstract

Afzelia africana Sm. is a highly valued multi-purpose and overexploited tree species in Africa. Ethnobotany of A. africana can guide its sustainable usage, yet there is limited information on such aspect for the species in Uganda. Here, we assessed use values of A. africana and users’ traditional knowledge, and how they relate to plant parts and socio-economic factors including ethnicity, gender, education, age, marital status, profession, household size, income, land size and livestock ownership. Two hundred face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted. Use values were assessed based on plant part value (PPV) and use value per use category (UVk), while users’ traditional knowledge was compared using overall use value (OUV) and reported use value (RUV). All plant parts were used, with stem (PPV = 41.4%), seeds (19.6%) and leaves (19.3%) being the most important. Nine plant use categories were enumerated, with most dominant being material (UVk = 0.63), followed by social (0.49) and fuel wood (0.41). Bark and root were mostly used for medicinal purpose, and branch and stem for fuelwood and material, respectively. Men and youngsters had higher OUV than females and older people, respectively. In particular, men frequently mentioned the use in agriculture, for fuelwood, environment and medicine, while women reported social use. Although socio-cultural group did not influence significantly OUV and RUV, multivariate analyses revealed differentiation in use category according to socio-cultural group. Land size also predisposed informants to report more uses for the species. Taking these significant socio-economic factors into account in participative forest management will facilitate A. africana sustainable use.

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The data used in this study are available upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the local communities of Yumbe district (Uganda) for their hospitality, time and efforts in providing the necessary information during the interviews.

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EB was involved in conception and methodology; data collection; and preparation of the manuscript; AE performed conception and methodology; supervision; and contribution to the manuscript; SM was involved in conception and methodology; supervision; data analysis; contribution to the manuscript; finalization, submission and revision of the manuscript; and JBS and MMK contributed to conception and methodology.

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Correspondence to Sylvanus Mensah.

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Biara, E., Egeru, A., Mensah, S. et al. Socio-economic factors influencing Afzelia africana Sm. use value and traditional knowledge in Uganda: implications for sustainable management. Environ Dev Sustain 23, 2261–2278 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-020-00673-6

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Keywords

  • Ethnobotany
  • Socio-cultural group
  • Multi-purpose tree species
  • Gender
  • Traditional knowledge
  • Uganda