On-farm diversity of Malaysia fruit species and their determining factors

A primary survey involving 424 households was carried out in selected districts of Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 127 fruit species were identified from a total of 62,336 trees counted in the survey. The average number of species conserved by each household was 8. More than 60% of the species were considered as underutilised. The average Shannon and Simpson diversity indices for each farm were 0.64 and 0.68 respectively, which is considered as moderately rich. Ulu Perak, Kuala Kangsar, Alor Gajah, Jerantut and Kuala Lipis districts were found to be relatively richer in diversity compared to the other districts. Based on their frequencies, the minor fruits; salak, pulasan and petai were found to be as dominant as the major fruits. For salak and pulasan, market and socio-economic factors were both found to be significant in influencing the number of trees conserved on-farm. Therefore, the markets and market infrastructures should be developed for the minor and rare fruit species, and poor farmers should be given appropriate incentives for their willingness to conserve the species to ensure their sustainability. On the other hand, the richness of the species on-farm was influenced more by the agro-climatic factors rather than the socio-economic and market factors. Therefore, future development of rural areas should be more selective by taking into consideration the richness of species diversity, to ensure the sustainability of the species on-farm.


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