Evaluation of charcoal production in Makurdi and Guma local government areas of Benue State, Nigeria
- Ekhuemelo, D.O. - Tembe, E.T. - Abah, M.
- Facultad de Recursos Naturales
- Datos de publicación:
- Sustainability, Agri, Food and Environmental Research, Vol.7, N°1, 69-86, 2019
- Carbón vegetal - Deforestación
- Medio Ambiente 
- Economic adversity, scarcity, joblessness and upsurge in the price of oil have dictated the need for people to find alternative means of making a living in respect of domestic cooking energy in Nigeria. Therefore, this work examined charcoal production in both Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Benue state to ascertain its impacts, contributions to rural livelihood and efforts in replanting trees felled for charcoal production. Villages involved in charcoal production were identified using snowball sampling techniques. A Multi-stage Sampling Technique was employed to select respondents for data collection as personal interview and semi-structured questionnaire were used. Twelve villages were selected purposively from four Council Wards out of eleven in Makurdi LGA, while six villages were selected from two Council Wards out of ten in Guma LGA. Three charcoal producers and marketers were selected in each village for administration of questionnaire. Results revealed that males (85.4%, 83.7%) were higher than females (14.6%, 16.3%) in charcoal production in both Makurdi and Guma LGAs, respectively. Youths between ages of 21-30 years (27.1% and 32.6%) in Makudri and Guma with highest level of secondary education were foremost in the business. Prosopis africana was the most preferred tree species for charcoal production in the area. Despite fewer number of Council Wards chosen in Guma LGA, respondents felled as much as 132 trees per week for charcoal production against 109 trees felled in Makurdi LGA. The results also revealed that on weekly bases, 22 charcoal producers in Makurdi earned N25,000, while 18 in Guma LGA earned between N11, 000 - N15, 000 from charcoal business. The result further revealed that, respondents met family needs as feeding family members, paying school fees and purchase of motorcycles. The major health hazard encountered by respondents in Makurdi and Guma LGAs was fire burn (50% and 25%), respectively. Efforts in replanting felled trees in the study area was minimal through plantation forestry and agroforestry. In conclusion, charcoal production was observed to improve socio-economic benefits to people. However, it was recommended that alternative sources of livelihood should be provided for the people to mitigate the adverse effects of deforestation in the State