Determinants of Bamboo Deforestation in Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia

Semeneh Bessie Desta


In Benishangul-Gumuz, one of the nine regional states of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, bamboo considered as an important cash crop; while serves as immediate source of income. However, currently, despite its importance in sustaining the livelihood of farmers, the depletion of bamboo forest appears to be a serious problem. Previous studies have examined the causes and processes of bamboo deforestation in this particular area. Yet, they are deficient in several respects particularly in prioritizing and substantiating the effects of each variables that determine the deforestation. As a result, little is known regarding factors influencing the magnitude of bamboo deforestation. The present study aimed at estimating the intensity of bamboo deforestation and identifying the deriving factors that contributed for the depletion of the forest. To this end, the study utilized cross-sectional survey to select 384 households, through multistage stratified random sampling and purposive sampling. Also, focus group discussions and key informant interview were employed to gather data from farmers, members cooperatives, employees and experts. Descriptive and econometric analyses were employed to analyze the data. Then, the results of thr has showed, between the years of 2009 and 2013 averagely about 0.014 hectare of bamboo forest was deforested and converted to agricultural land. These implies that if this pattern continues the entire bamboo stock of the region will be lost within a short period of time. Of the fourteen explanatory variables, that included in the Tobit regression model eight were significantly affected the intensity of bamboo deforestation, with predicted probability of 0.158 hectare per annum. Ownership of oxen, shifting cultivation and perception towards the nature of bamboo forest were the three major factors seem to have contributed positively to the intensity of bamboo deforestation; whereas, gender of the heads the households, family size, proximity to bamboo forest, duration in residence and participation in collective forest management action influenced the situation negatively. Policies for restraining the pace of deforestation should be enforced.

Keywords: Bamboo deforestation, Tobit, Benishangul Gumuz region, Ethiopia

DOI: 10.7176/JRDM/84-04

Publication date: April 30th 2022

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