Journal of Applied and Natural Science 7 (2): 976-983 (2015)
Perceptions, attitudes and preferences in agroforestry among rural societies of Kashmir, India
M. A. Islam*, T. H. Masoodi, S. A. Gangoo, P. A. Sofi, G. M. Bhat, A. A. Wani, A. A. Gatoo, Amerjeet Singh and A. R. Malik
Faculty of Forestry, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of Kashmir, Wadura, Sopore-193201 (J&K), INDIA
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract : People’s perceptions, attitudes and preferences in agroforestry have become fundamental elements of sustainable agroforestry management. The study examined the multiplicities and dimensions of people’s perceptions about agroforestry values, attitudes towards agroforestry benefits and resources preferences in agroforestry and their socioeconomic determinants in rural societies of Kashmir. The data were collected from 142 households of 5 villages selected employing multi-stage random sampling. Descriptive and analytical statistics were used for the data analysis. Results indicated that the material values (rank 1st to 3rd) of agroforestry were perceived as the most important while the perception of the non-material values (rank 4th to 10th) were adjudged moderately important. People’s attitudes towards the tangible benefits (rank 1st to 3rd) of agroforestry were highly favourable whereas attitudes towards intangible benefits (rank 4th to 10th) were indifferent. The rural people expressed higher preferences for fuel wood, fodder, vegetable, fruit, and timber (rank 1st to 5th) while moderate or low preferences for medicine, cottage industry/ handicrafts, fiber/ floss, oilseeds and animals/ birds/ insects etc. (rank 6th to 10th). F statistics (p < 0.05) showed significant differences between the material and non-material values, tangible and non-tangible benefits and resources groups. Correlation co-efficients (r) confirmed the importance of socioeconomic attributes in influencing people’s perceptions, attitudes and preferences in agroforestry. The findings will help to refine and enrich the knowledge-base to provide an effective framework for decisions and policy making to sustain and maintain agroforestry health and services. The integration of people’s socio-psychological conditions in sustainable agroforestry management will be effective strategy commensurating the current development and future challenges.
Keywords :Agroforestry, Attitudes, Perceptions, Preferences, Socioeconomic attributes