Households and tree-planting for wood energy production – Do perceptions matter?
Journal article, 2021
While forests are a primary source of energy for the majority of Tanzanian households, the forest cover is rapidly declining. The Tanzanian government has introduced a tree-planting campaign strategy, aimed at reducing pressure on natural forests. However, the campaign appears not to have contributed significantly to the forest recovery rate. Thus, this study aims at examining household perceptions of tree-planting for wood energy production for both in-house uses and for sale, and identify the factors influencing household perceptions of tree-planting. We employed the multinomial logit model to analyse the factors influencing household perceptions of tree-planting for energy. Our findings indicate that respondents considered the right/freedom to harvest trees from farms and transport them to markets as the most important factor (86%), followed by lack of awareness of tree-planting programmes (72%), and the existence of fuelwood for free from natural forests (59%). The size of the farm, education, distance to forest reserves, and age of the household head are found to have significant impact on the household perceptions of tree-planting for energy. Our results further show that woodfuel harvesting and enforcement systems do not exist in nearby forests. This situation is exacerbated by the absence of a specific policy formulated to match with the daily demand of forest produce for energy and income of households near forest reserves. Thus, we suggest policy makers to target policies and actions promoting tree-planting for energy.