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Title:Effects of deforestation on household time allocation among rural agricultural activities: evidence from Western Uganda Paul Okiira Okwi and Tony Muhumuza
Authors:Okwi, Paul OkiiraISNI
Muhumuza, Tony
Series:AERC research paper
City of publisher:Nairobi
Publisher:African Economic Research Consortium
Geographic term:Uganda
time management
Abstract:Trees, in forested and agricultural landscapes, are particularly important because they disproportionately provide high values of environmental services and biodiversity. In this study, the link between deforestation, time allocation to fuel-wood collection and agriculture is analysed. A non-separable (non-recursive) model was developed to test the participation of households in fuel-wood collection and farming activities using data from rural areas of Western Uganda. Results of the quantitative analysis show that, the more traditional measures of economic conditions - shadow wages and prices, labour time, gender composition of the household, seasonality and agroecological differences - are important variables that affect household labour allocation decisions. The results provide no support to some of the previous studies which show that, as deforestation increases and fuel-wood gets scarce, household members will divert time away from farming. The fact that there is no evidence of labour relocation away from agriculture to fuel-wood collection implies that agriculture is such an extremely important activity and fuel-wood products have not become costly enough to signifi cantly tighten household labour constraints. Efforts are needed to alleviate the labour bottlenecks of subsistence farmers through agroforestry programmes, efficient use of fuel-wood as well as the adoption of efficient cooking equipment, and fuel-wood substitutes which will relieve labour burdens in the collection of environmental goods or reduce collection time forfuel-wood.