Do Trees on Farms Improve Household Well-Being? Evidence From National Panel Data in Uganda

Daniel C. Miller, Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mora, Laura V. Rasmussen, Alberto Zezza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trees on farms provide livelihood benefits to households across Africa. To date, however, evidence on how such trees affect household well-being over time remains lacking. Evidence is especially sparse at the national level where it has particular value for policymaking. To address this knowledge gap, we use nationally representative panel data from Uganda to examine how on-farm tree growing may affect two dimensions of household well-being: 1) income and 2) food security and nutrition. We analyzed household-level data from the 2005–2006, 2010–2011, and 2013–2014 Ugandan National Panel Surveys, including measures on adoption and abandonment of trees on farms, demographic factors, and other socioeconomic variables. We used a fixed-effects panel specification and probabilistic models to assess the relationship between the area devoted to trees on farms and household income and nutrition outcomes for 1,395 households across Uganda. Our results show that growing trees especially fruit trees, was associated with improvements in both total household consumption and nutritional outcomes (proxied by weight and wasting status of children younger than 5 years old). These findings suggest the important role trees on farms can play in poverty reduction and sustainable development efforts in Uganda and other countries in Africa and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101
JournalFrontiers in Forests and Global Change
StatePublished - Sep 16 2020


  • Uganda
  • agroforestry
  • food security
  • nutrition
  • poverty
  • sustainable livelihoods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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