Socio-economic analysis of production options of the buffer zone (half-mile forest strip) around mount Kilimanjaro catchment forest reserve, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


The Half Mile Forest Strip (HMFS) around Mt Kilimanjaro has for a long time been the most important buffer zone to Mt Kilimanjaro ecosystem. The strip was set aside in 1941 with emphasis on production of wood and non wood forest products for local use. Rising demands for these products from the forest called for socio-economic analysis and review of the production options on the strip. The aerial survey done in year 2001 revealed that the strip was not managed effectively to the extent of increasing the level of threats to the forest belt. As the width of the strip cannot be increased, there is a need for maximum utilization of the available land, by employing profitable production options. The overall objective of the study was to analyze economic returns of various production options on the strip. Specifically the study aimed at identifying the current forest land use options; identifying and estimating costs and benefits of current production options and proposed suitable options for production and conservation of the buffer strip. Primary data were obtained through questionnaires conducted in four villages of the three districts. Land use options were obtained through visual interpretation of satellite images and benefits of the options were achieved by calculating Net Present Value (NPV) and Land Expectation Value (LEV). Results from the study indicates that at a real discounting factor of 10.2%, the actual NPV and LEV obtained from managing one hectare of land for beekeeping was US$ 617.3 and 747.4 respectively. Growing and selling christmas trees gave NPV and LEV of US$ 3741.8 and 4878.2 respectively while pine plantations provided NPV and LEV of US$ 141.2 and 154.9 correspondingly. Sensitivity analyses revealed that all the three options were economically efficient under a wide range of alternatives of varying inputs and discount rates. Although the pine alternative had the lowest returns, but its associated “taungya” farming (growing trees with agricultural crops) has shown to be very important component in farmers’ additional income and food security, in this essence, this option is profitable to both the district authority and the communities while natural vegetation along rivers conserve the catchment value and used for beekeeping activity which does not involve tree harvesting, thus maximizing production and conservation.



Mt Kilimanjaro ecosystem, Production of wood, Non wood forest products, Buffer zone


Cellina ,L.M. (2007). Socio-economic analysis of production options of the buffer zone (half-mile forest strip) around mount Kilimanjaro catchment forest reserve, Tanzania. Morogoro:Sokoine University of Agriculture.