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Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9907-9923; doi:10.3390/su7089907

Economic Impact and Challenges of Jatropha curcas L. Projects in North-Western Province, Zambia: A Case of Solwezi District

1
School of Natural Resources, The Copperbelt University, P.O. Box 21692, Kitwe 10101, Zambia
2
Kyawama Secondary School, P.O. Box 110024, Solwezi 10101, Zambia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 4 March 2015 / Accepted: 6 April 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1307 KB, uploaded 24 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

Forest products, wood and non-wood, remain vital among smallholder households in Zambia with charcoal being the most sought after product. This has led to increased exploitation of forest trees to meet the needs for fuel wood, among others. However, Jatropha curcas plant has been identified as a potential fuel source. In the early 2000s, profit-making organizations encouraged smallholder households to grow Jatropha for use as an alternative fuel source. This paper reports on a study conducted in Solwezi between 2011 and 2014 to evaluate the impact of Jatropha cultivation for biofuel production. A sample of 100 small-scale farmers involved in Jatropha cultivation and key informants were interviewed to evaluate the impact of growing Jatropha at the small-scale level. Results show that farmers lost out on time; income from sale of edible non-wood forest products; and experienced reduction in maize (Zea mays) and bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) production, worsening household economic conditions. Farmers attributed this loss to unclear policy alignment on biofuel production by government. We therefore recommend that project implementation should involve interactions of all legislative bodies and any other concerned stakeholders. There is also a need to promote the value chain, from production to marketing, which focuses on minimizing detrimental effects on the livelihood of small-scale farmers. View Full-Text
Keywords: charcoal; firewood; Jatropha curcas; livelihood; non-wood products; policy charcoal; firewood; Jatropha curcas; livelihood; non-wood products; policy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kalinda, C.; Moses, Z.; Lackson, C.; Chisala, L.A.; Donald, Z.; Darius, P.; Exildah, C.-K. Economic Impact and Challenges of Jatropha curcas L. Projects in North-Western Province, Zambia: A Case of Solwezi District. Sustainability 2015, 7, 9907-9923.

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