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The Role of Forest Resources on Poverty Reduction: The Case Study of Timber Trading

Stephen J. Nindi, David G. MHANDO, Egid F. NKWERA


Sustainable use of forest products such as timber has been reported to produce different benefits. This paper assessed the influence of timber trading on poverty reduction among communities in Mufindi District, Tanzania. A sample of 100 timber trading households was randomly selected from four villages. Structured questionnaires, checklist, observation and focused group discussion were the data collection tools and methods employed. Descriptive statistics and comparative analysis were done to analyze data and compare relationships between and among variables.
Timber trading contributed 61% of the households’ income. About 73% of households’ physical assets were acquired using income accrued from timber trading. Besides, timber contributed approximately 35% of the district revenues. However, access to credit facilities by timber traders was weak. Increase in the fuel price, cost of buying tree plots and poor infrastructure led to increase in the costs of timber production. Packages of business support programs, extension services and cost-effective technological support be provided to timber traders in the district to accelerate the meeting of the national strategy for growth and reduction of poverty and realisation of Millennium Development Goals.


timber trading, poverty reduction, livelihood assets

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