Fuel Wood Commercialization and Households Welfare in the Northern Region of Ghana: An Implication for Rural Livelihood Improvement (Published)
Several national forestry policies in Ghana meet resistance and or failure; particularly issues of natural and environment resources use within communities. This is because of the highly dependent nature of people on the environment for sustenance and welfare improvements. This paper examined the major facts which motivate households’ decisions to engage in commercialization of fuelwood; determined the most preferred fuel wood species, and availability of income inequality among sampled districts and establish fuelwood, commercialization and households’ welfare by the travel cost method. The study sampled six districts in the Northern Region based on poverty and rural dependence mode. The paper used the simple random sample along with a structured questionnaire to illicit information from respondents. The results showed that, increased in travel cost and cost of access to forested sites impact negatively on the number of visits for fuel wood. The study further revealed that, benefits from fuel wood commercialization in terms of reducing income inequality differ from district to district. The study recommended that, government and international organizations should facilitate the cultivation forest sites solely for fuel wood harvest to ensure environmental sustainability. In addition, fuel wood harvesters must be taught forest management and conservation strategies in the Northern Region.