Society of African Journal Editors

African Journal of Economic Policy

Effects of Deforestation on Household Time Allocation among Rural Agricultural Activities: Evidence from Western Uganda

Authors: PO Okwi, T Muhumuza

Journal: African Journal of Economic Policy

A non-separable (non-recursive) model was developed to test the  participation of households in fuelwood collection and farming activities using data from rural areas of Western Uganda. The results of the  quantitative analysis showed that traditional measures of economic  conditions – shadow wages and prices, labour time, gender composition of the household, seasonality and agro-ecological differences – were  important variables that affect household labour allocation decisions. The results provided no support to earlier studies that contended that as  deforestation increases and fuelwood gets scarce, household members will divert time away from farming. The fact that there was no evidence of labour relocation away from agriculture to fuelwood collection implied that the former was a key activity and fuelwood products have not become  costly enough to significantly tighten household labour constraints. Efforts were needed to alleviate the labour bottlenecks of subsistence farmers through agro-forestry programmes, efficient use of fuelwood and adoption of efficient cooking equipment, fuelwood substitutes which will relieve  environmental good collection labour burdens or reduce collection time for fuelwood. Keywords : Forests, time allocation, agriculture, firewood households