Science Journal of Agricultural Research and Management

October 2013, Volume 2013, ISSN: 2276-8572

© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


Cultivated Plants in the Diversified Homegardens of Local Communities in Ganges Valley, Bangladesh

Syed Ajijur Rahman1,2,7*, Cristina Baldauf3, Eefke Maria Mollee1,2, Muha. Abdullah-Al-Pavel4, Md. Abdullah-Al-Mamun5, Mahmudul Mannan Toy6,Terry Sunderland7

1School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University,Bangor LL57 2UW, United Kingdom
2Forest and Landscape, University of Copenhagen, 1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark
3Department of Animal Sciences, Federal Rural University of Semiarid Region (UFERSA), CEP 59625-900, Mossoró, RN, Brazil
4Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet-3114, Bangladesh
5Department of Folklore, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi 6205, Bangladesh
6Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology, Uttara, Dhaka 1230, Bangladesh
7Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor Barat 16115, Indonesia

Accepted 26 September, 2013; Available Online October 10, 2013.

doi: 10.7237/sjarm/197


Homestead agroforestry, in the form of homegardens, has a long tradition in many developing countries. These systems are an intimate mix of diversified agricultural crops and multipurpose trees planted, maintained by members of the household. This paper aims to explore the species composition commonly found in the homestead agroforestry systems in the Ganges valley of northern Bangladesh and their contribution to local livelihoods. Three villages i.e., ‘Capasia’, ‘Chak Capasia’ and ‘Baduria’ were selected as the primary study area. Data were collected by (1) rapid rural appraisal, (2) direct observation, (3) informal and structured interviews with a purposive sample of 90 households. A total of 53 plant species under 32 families were identified from the study area and it was found that the relative density were highest for Areca catechu (areca palm), Artocarpus heterophyllus (jackfruit) and Mangifera indica (mango). Financial analysis showed that homestead agroforestry net benefit increases with the increasing landholding classes. However, no significant difference was found between the number of species in different farm sizes, contrasting other studies that accused this relationship. The comparison of Shannon-Wiener index between agroforestry systems and natural forest showed no statistical difference, reinforcing the role of homegardens in biological conservation in Bangladesh. Therefore, increasing agroforestry practices in homesteads, should be the strategy for enhancing tree cover in order to meet basic needs of the local people and for environmental sustainability.

Keyword:Home garden, multi-storied configuration, species, livelihoods