The Net benefits of silky oak (Grevillea robusta) for small farmers in Musanze District, Rwanda

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Rene Niyomfura
Gerald Kapp
Canisius Patrick Mugunga
Jean de Dieu Niyomugabo


This study was conducted in Musanze district, Rwanda, to evaluate the net benefits of silky oak (Grevillea robusta) production for small farmers. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 100 households distributed in four villages. The cost-benefit ratio was used as a decision-making tool. A diameter tape and a Haga altimeter were used to measure the DBH and height of grevillea and other dominant agroforestry tree species. Results indicate that 66 % of laborers were family members, gaining 625 Rwf per person day with grevillea production (US$ 0.61, with 4-8 hours of work per day. Also, results show that farmers earn 57,950 Rwandan Francs (Rwf) per hectare per year (US$ 57.48 from grevillea products (stakes, poles, charcoal, and timber), whereas the mean investment in grevillea production is 54,200 Rwf ha-1 year-1 (US$ 53.76. The net farm income is 3,225 Rwf (US$ 3.2 ha-1 year-1. The net benefit from grevillea product is affected by poor farmer data record as the majority of67% of respondents has not attended any formal education. However, farmers gain additional benefits of US$ 628, US$ 298, and US$ 224ha-1 year-1 from potatoes, maize, and bean, respectively, depending on their crop choice during intercropping with grevillea. The benefit-cost ratio is 1.06, which highlights the modest profitability of growing grevillea on the farm. In addition, soil erosion control, soil fertility increase, landslide prevention, shade provision, microclimate improvement, and biodiversity conservation were reported as ecosystem services of grevillea on the farm. Growth performance of grevillea (diameter at breast height, tree height, and volume) is analyzed in all four villages. The study shows that growing grevillea is profitable for smallholder farmers via tree products and farm benefits, including ecosystem services aspects.


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Niyomfura, Rene, Gerald Kapp, Canisius Patrick Mugunga, and Jean de Dieu Niyomugabo. “The Net Benefits of Silky Oak (Grevillea Robusta) for Small Farmers in Musanze District, Rwanda”. REFORESTA, no. 14 (December 29, 2022): 46-62. Accessed December 2, 2023.


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