Determinants of Woodlot Plantation and Production in Ethiopia

The main constraints which affect woodlot production were land size, family labor, financial resources, knowledge, technology and the transaction costs and support to the woodlot owners (Maningo, 2014). According to Rapahel and Alemu (2016), the performance of forest plantation generally in Ethiopia and particularly in Amhara Region affected by various socio-economic, technical and institutional factors such as lack of extension service, poor market access, lack of cooperation, poor appropriate spacing, thinning, harvesting practice and inadequate institutional and policy support. Likewise, farm size, loan and credit access, per capita income, age of the farmers, land ownership of the farmers, availability of non-agricultural land were some factors which significantly affects farmers’ adoption decisions on Eucalyptus woodlot production (Tefera and Lerra, 2016).

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Abiyu et al., (2012) revealed that the main factor that significantly affect number of tree production and number of tree species were number of livestock owned by the household, land holding size and age of household head. Similarly, the probability of participation of smallholder farmers’ in tree plantation were affected by nursery ownership, education level of farm household, land holding size, land productivity, distance to the nearest market centre, market access, value addition of plantation products, and infrastructures (Fentahun et.al., n.d). Likewise, the decision to grow trees by smallholder farmer is also affected by market incentives, such as availability of markets for outputs and inputs, their price and associated income loss (Warner et al., 1997; Arnold et al., 2006). Furthermore, Jagger et al., (2003) using ordered probit regression analysis reported that the main determinants of changes in environmental conditions during woodlot establishment were plantation zone, woodlot distance to market, population density, area of woodlot, availability of wasteland, Seedling survival rate, annual precipitation, slopes of area, soil type and tree species.

According to Bekele (2011), factors that significantly influence the decision to adopt woodlots as a form of land use were tree tenure security, quality of seed, contact with extension agents and size of land holdings. Woodlots require farmers to set aside part of their land for growing trees that results in the cultivable area under food crops being reduced. Therefore, farmers with smaller plots of land may view tree planting as competing with food crops, thus reducing incentive to establish woodlots.

In the case of Ethiopia, farmers have the ownership right to trees growing on his/her homestead and cultivated lands, but needs to get permission from the local government to cut the trees. This hinders the participation of the farmers in woodlot plantation. Ohigashi (2008) also stated that compared to Ethiopian farmers, Thailand farmers operating Eucalyptus plantations own an average of 13 ha of total land and out of 13ha, 8 ha were allocated for Eucalyptus but in Ethiopia the average land area owned by farmers are 1.2 ha, with 99 % of farmers owning less than 5 ha of land. Therefore the shortage of land are main constraints for farmers to produce Eucalyptus since it takes a minimum of 5 years to harvest. even though Eucalyptus provides high yield in all ecological conditions, its growth rate depends on different management factors like spacing, site conditions, amount of rainfall (Hailemicael, 2012).

Eucalyptus sale assist smallholder farmers to bridge the food shortage gap at household level. As a result, growing Eucalyptus at a farm level in a form of woodlot has become very common practice among smallholder farmers in rural parts of Ethiopia (Jagger and Pender, 2003) However, the size of farm, the wealth status and age of the farmers were the main factors influencing farmers’ tree planting activities (Schuren and Snelder, 2008 cited in Bongers, 2010). Beside this, fertilising is an important factor to increase yield (Van Eijck, 2014). Likewise, Eucalyptus production was affected by insects (termites, Eucalyptus snout beetle), pests (locus) and fungi (Jagger and Pender, 2003). However, Hailemicael (2012) reported that compared to other commonly used exotic tree species, Eucalyptus species are not sensitive for the attack of different tree diseases/pathogens/, pests, and environmental stress such as water, and nutrient deficiency due to its genetic diversity by itself has a power to resist such infectious disease and environmental factors.

The productivity of Eucalyptus in tropical and sub-tropical countries are remained low due to poor genetic stock, weed competition, water stress, low nutrient status of the soil, and threats from pests and diseases (Sharma et al., 1985; Ghosh et al., 1989; Kallarackal and Somen, 1997). Krause et al., (2007) indicated that the main factors that hinder farmers from growing of woody plants were personal characteristics of farmers, poor access to infrastructure, shortage of land resource and seedlings. Similarly, Githiomi et al., (2012) also revealed that scarcity of seedlings, inadequate land and high cost of establishmen are the main obstacles encountered to farmers in woodlot establishment in centeral kenya.

Hailemicael (2012) reported that the main factor that affect the profitability of Eucalyptus plantation in Northern Ethiopia were labour access, low management techniques for wood lots, lack of proper market access and environmental factors like poor soil fertility, rainfall, and rough topography. Similarly, the income and profitability of Eucalyptus tree commercialization by farmers are affected by technical, financial and awareness support; market mechanism; wood price and non-income gains (Mekonnen et al., 2007). Even though Eucalyptus is mostly planted everywhere in Ethiopia, its processing and marketing are not linked well due to poor coordination and cooperation among producers. Moreover, lack of knowledge and experiences during sawing, drying and processing of the various commodities produced for the wood of Eucalyptus were the main reason (Bekele, 1994).

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Determinants of Woodlot Plantation and Production in Ethiopia. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved January 25, 2022 , from
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