Effects of rotational woodlots on households’ livelihood in Meatu district, Tanzania
Meatu district in Simiyu region is one of the most degraded areas in Tanzania where the effects of deforestation were vivid resulting from increased population of both humans and livestock. The problem extends to the effect of soil degradation, poor crop yield, shortage of fuel wood, building materials and fodder. Rotational Woodlot (RWL) was the most promising tested technology to solve the problem. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of rotational woodlots on households‟ livelihood. The study was carried out in two wards, two villages per ward and thirty households from each study village. Both primary and secondary data were collected to address the objectives. Methods used for primary data collection included household survey, key informant interviews using a checklist and direct observation. Literature survey was done to obtain secondary data. Qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis while quantitative data was analyzed through a Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software version 12. Result indicated that 44.4% of total household income and 62.0% of the total household food produced was obtained from rotational woodlots. Socio-economic factors which enhanced household incomes were: age of household head, land ownership, food produced from rotational woodlots while constrained factors were: sex and education level of the head of the household, land under RWL and household size. Socio-economic factors which enhanced household food security were: sex and occupation of the head of the household, size of the household, land under RWL and income from RWL. The constraining factors were: age, education level of the head of household, the rights to land. The study concludes that, RWL has positive effect on household‟s income and food security. Based on the socio-economic findings it is recommended that RWL be up scaled through establishing tree nurseries in the villages, as well as recruiting more extension staff and conducting frequent monitoring and evaluation in the villages practicing rotational woodlots. Moreover, there is need of taking into consideration socio-economic factors that enhance and constrain RWL based on income and food security.
Household income, Households’ livelihood, Livestock, Woodlots, Meatu district, Tanzania, Rotational woodlots