Households’ Choices of Fuelwood Sources: Implications for Agroforestry Interventions in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania uri icon

abstract

  • Fuelwood is the main source of energy for various household uses in many developing countries; and management of tree resources where it is obtained can be best undertaken when household choice patterns are understood. In this paper, householdsâ?? decision to obtain fuelwood for domestic consumption as influenced by household and fuelwood source characteristics is analyzed using a multinomial probit regression model. Data is obtained from 254 randomly selected household drawn from Mbarali district, south-western Tanzania. Results indicate that households are heavily dependent on natural forests for household energy provision and that the choice to obtain fuelwood from the forest, farm or market depends, among other factors on the availability of preferred fuelwood tree species at these sources. Acacia tortilis, Brachystegia spp. and Faidherbia albida are the significantly preferred tree species and hence affect the decision of where to obtain fuelwood. This revelation highlights the pressure applied to surrounding forests as well as to the aforementioned tree species which require immediate management interventions. The gender of the household head and whether the household lives in peri-urban or rural areas also influence choice of fuelwood source. Promotion of tree planting and on-farm management of tree species similar to preferred species found in natural forests is recommended. To the extent that consumer preferences are likely to change over time, further research using panel datasets is necessary to unravel inter-temporal preferences for fuelwood sources

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017