Abstract: This study aims to examine the annual income contribution of wood fuel production from small - scale plantation forestry in Fagta Lekoma district of Amhara region, Ethiopia. Household surveys were conducted by following the snowball-sampling technique. The data analyzed by using STATA software and multiple linear regression model also employed to evaluate the contribution of wood fuel annual income from the total annual income of the households. About 9000 Ethiopian Birr (ETB) household income comes from charcoal selling which is the highest average annual income. The result of multiple linear regression analysis indicates that an increase in one unit (ETB) income from charcoal making leads to an increase in total annual income by 0.972 units (ETB). Annual income contribution of wood fuel production is the largest amount of income recorded followed by annual income from crop production. Plantation forestry plays a significant role not only economically but also by the provision of alternative livelihood options for households. Plantation forestry used as a means of soil reclamation as well as means of households’ income. Inaction and implementation of policies supporting plantation forestry sustain rural livelihood by increasing their adaptive potential for shock and stress by creating alternative means of livelihood.
Keywords: Households livelihood options; small-scale plantation forest; means of household income; Sustainable development.
Small scale plantation forests play a significant role in contributing to household income as well as poverty reduction for community level (Cuong, Chinh, Zhang, & Xie, 2020). Small-scale plantation forests for commercial wood fuel production play a significant role in supporting the livelihoods of farmers. Despite the potential of wood fuel contribution for households income generation limited study was conducted. Thus, this study aims to quantify the role of wood fuel production from a small-scale plantation in the Awi zone of Fagta Lecoma district, which found in the Amhara region Ethiopia with the rapid expansion of Acacia decurrence and eucalyptus plantation at an alarming rate, especially in recent years.
The contribution of wood fuel production is not only restricted to the provision of energy sources but also provides important income generation options for rural farmers in sub – Saharan African country which is true for Ethiopian farmers who live in the northern highland of the country (Zulu & Richardson, 2013). Plantation of trees increasing at an alarming rate worldwide for instance from 1990 to 2000 plantation forest land estimated to be 143.4 million hectares which have a drastic change in terms of expansion estimated from 1980 to 1990 which is only about 25.8 million hectares. The expansion of plantation associated with the cause of social conflicts (Schirmer, 2007). Eucalyptus is not only the most planted tree species in the world but also it is the dominant plantation tree in east Africa by covering a total area of 524 million hectares of land (FAO, 2009). Eucalyptus is mostly preferred species by Ethiopian farmers due to its nature of fast growth, relatively easy management, and the ability to coppice (Jenbere, Lemenih, & Kassa, 2012). More than 92000 hectares of eucalyptus plantation were recorded of which about 67% planted by smallholder farmers (Kebede Gizachew, 2017).
The expansion of smallholder’s commercial plantation needs trade-off agricultural crop production land (Abiyu, Teketay, Gratzer, & Shete, 2016). The production of small scale plantation by farmers fuelled not only by demand for wood fuel from nearby cities but also to reclaim degrade soil and to raise soil fertility which upturns the yield of crop produced (Molla & Linger, 2017) especially acacia decurrence trees Fagta Lakoma district, Awi zone North-western Ethiopia. Planting of Eucalyptus tree also preferred by a farmer than the production of the crop in the study area due to numerous reasons such as low productivity of crop aggravated by fast-growing demand for wood and wood products as well as fast growth characteristics of the species (Aklilu, Bekele, Merkineh, & Barana, 2019).
Despite the argument of the adverse impact of eucalyptus species on the ecological balance and negative allopathic impact farmers intensively skewed to planting eucalyptus trees on their farmland which creates disputes with agricultural extension agents and local experts (Aklilu et al., 2019). The dispute aggravated by the expansion of tree plantation on productive cropland of which is strongly unsupported by local agricultural experts. The expansion of tree planting on cropland creates a conflict of interest between cropland and tree plantation land (Ayana & Lejissa, 2018) so this study tries to seek solutions for harmonizing conflict of interest between farmers and development agents by providing scientific information.
In Ethiopia agricultural land degradation is a series problem that reduces crop production (Adimassu, Kessler, & Hengsdijk, 2012). Loss of cropland productivity push farmers to reclaim their farmland while to bust agricultural production form their land thus farmers decide to expand Acacia decurrence planation to their cropland which is the main source of conflict and disagreement between farmers and local agricultural expert in the study area. Forest degradation and intensive farming aggravate the salinity of agricultural land in the study site afforestation and small scale commercial plantation expansion on farmland not only increase soil fertility but also diversify means of livelihood. On the other hand, a study conducted in Arisi Negele indicates that more than 11% of farmers convert their cropland into eucalypt plantation (Jenbere et al., 2012) and states planation woodlots increase at the expense of cropland. To resolve the disputes between farmers and agricultural experts as well as to suggest appropriate innervation conducting this study plays a significant role.
- Quote paper
- Mitku Alemu Mengistu (Author), 2020, Annual income of small-scale plantation by wood fuel production in Fagta Lekoma, Awi Zone, Amhara, Ethiopia, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/931119