Smallholder Tobacco Farmers and Forest Conservation in Mutasa District, Zimbabwe
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Volume 5, Issue 1, March 2020, Pages: 6-12
Received: Nov. 21, 2019; Accepted: Dec. 12, 2019; Published: Feb. 14, 2020
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Mango Lawrence, Department of Agricultural Management, Zimbabwe Open University, Bindura, Zimbabwe
Kugedera Andrew Tapiwa, Department of Livestock, Wildlife and Fisheries, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Mango Lovemore, Department of Sciences, Magunje High School, Murewa, Zimbabwe
Mutenje Michael, Department of Agriculture, Hilcrest College, Mutare, Zimbabwe
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Zimbabwe is among the poorest countries in the world and heavily depends on agriculture for rural livelihoods and income generation. Forests conversion into agricultural land and the use of forest products, in particular fuel wood for the construction of tobacco barns and the curing process has caused destruction to the already depleted forests. The study was carried out in Mutasa District in the eastern highlands, Zimbabwe. Quantitative and qualitative data techniques were used in the study. A total of 60 smallholder tobacco farmers were purposively sampled from a population of 280 tobacco producing households for the survey. The data was collected using a structured questionnaire and direct observations. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Binary logistic. Results show that proximity to the forest (p < 0.001), age of farmer (p = 0.001), agricultural training (p = 0.028) and unavailability of electricity (p = 0.028) were significantly influencing the conservation of miombo woodlands. In the contrary; household size (p = 0.983), level of education (p = 0.525), gender (p = 0.113), unavailability of coal (p = 0.109) and culture (p = 0.078) showed no significant difference in the conservation of miombo woodlands. It is recommended that the government embark on a more vigorous approach in the supply of energy for the curing of tobacco and conserving the existing forests to mitigate effects of deforestation and climate change. Most importantly, smallholder farmers should be educated to use other alternative sources of fuel to promote the regeneration of the already injured woodlands. All stakeholders should be involved in planning and decision making on issues related to forest conservation and technology in tobacco production.
Deforestation, Forest Conservation, Fuel Wood, Miombo Woodlands, Smallholder Farmers, Tobacco Production
To cite this article
Mango Lawrence, Kugedera Andrew Tapiwa, Mango Lovemore, Mutenje Michael, Smallholder Tobacco Farmers and Forest Conservation in Mutasa District, Zimbabwe, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2020, pp. 6-12. doi: 10.11648/j.eeb.20200501.12
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