Expansion of Eucalypt Woodlot and Its Factors in Cheha District, Southern Ethiopia
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Growing eucalypts at a farm level in the form of woodlot has become popular among rural household in Ethiopia. Households in the study area establish mainly eucalypts woodlot as a component of livelihood portfolio both for meeting household wood consumption and generating cash income. However, there were no sufficient information on the extent of eucalypts woodlot, and factors influencing the household decision on their establishment on the individual farm lands. This study was conducted in Cheha Districts in Guraghe zone with the aims of assessing the magnitude of eucalypts woodlots and factors influencing their establishment at household level. The data was collected by employing formal survey using structured questionnaire and Woodlot inventory. The latest version of Stata, version 13 and Microsoft excel were used to analyze the data. The result of the study revealed that some 58% (n = 61) of the sampled farmers in the study area had eucalypts woodlot, and among these 27% and 24% are those farmers who have converted their crop and grazing lands to eucalypts woodlots targeting either to earn more income or to increase the productivity of the land which has denied to grow cereal crops and pastures. Most of the farmers considered eucalypts as one of the major sources of income and risk aversion. The study is concluding that different socioeconomic factors, family size, crop income and accessibility of road had significant negative effect whereas total land holding and education level of the household heads had significant positive effects on the household’s decision for the allocation of land and establishment of eucalypts woodlot on the farm lands. Further studies are needed to compare the return from Eucalyptus with other crops in terms of economic and environmental benefits and finally management aspect of eucalypts needed further research for the productivity of allocated land.
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