|Application of Biomass-energy Technologies (Habitat, 1993)|
|I. Woodfuel production technologies|
Woodfuel accounts for about 10 per cent of the total energy used in the world. It provides about 20 per cent of all energy used in Asia and Latin America, and about 50 per cent of total energy used in Africa (Arnold, 1991, Murray and De Montalembert, 1992). However, it is the major source of energy , in particular for domestic purposes, in poor developing countries: in 22 countries, woodfuel accounted for 2549 per cent, in 17 countries, 50-74 per cent, and in 26 countries, 75-100 per cent of their respective national energy consumption (UNCHS, 1984).
More than half of the total wood harvested in the world is used as woodfuel (Eckholm, 1976). For specific countries, for example, the United Republic of Tanzania, the contribution can be as high as 97 per cent (Mnzava 1990).
Although woodfuel is the major source of energy for most rural and low-income people in the developing world, the potential supply of woodfuel is dwindling rapidly, leading to scarcity of energy and environmental degradation (UNCHS, 1990). It is estimated that, for more than a third of the world population, the real energy crisis is the daily scramble to obtain woodfuel to meet domestic use (Eckholm, 1975).
Current studies on woodfuel supply in developing countries have concluded that woodfuel scarcities are real and will continue to exist, unless appropriate approaches to resource management are undertaken (Arnold, 1991, SADCC Energy Sector 1992b). The increase of woodfuel production through efficient techniques, can, therefore, be considered as one of the major pre-requisites for attaining sustainable development in developing countries.
The following paragraphs describe the main points of case studies on woodfuel technologies which were conducted in eight Southern African countries, namely, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Botswana has a land area of 582,000 sq km. The most distinctive characteristic of the land is its aridity, with unreliable rains. The population of Botswana in 1991 was estimated to be around 1,370,000 with an average annual growth rate of 3.3 per cent. Over 90 per cent of the population depend on natural woodlands for fuelwood and poles. In the eastern part of the country, where most of the population is concentrated, woodfuel supplies are being rapidly depleted, with some areas experiencing acute woodfuel scarcity.
The main woodfuel production technologies used in Botswana include: establishment of woodlots by the Government and NGOs, individual tree planting, and management of the existing natural forest.
1. Establishment of woodlots
Establishment of community woodlots was introduced in 1970 and implemented mainly by the Forestry Unit, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The main objective was to produce woodfuel and poles. The woodlots were supposed to be run by village development committees. However, there was little participation by villagers, and hence the method failed. Some of the reasons attributed to the failure of the community woodlots are: undefined distribution of the endproducts from the woodlots; lack of proper extension services to support the establishment of the woodlots; lack of experience by the local people on growing exotic species; and lack of short-term benefits to villagers commensurate with their efforts (Walker, 1990).
2. Individual tree growing
The Government and NGOs are encouraging individual tree growing through agroforestry. By the end of 1991, there were 12 government and seven NGO nurseries, which raised, in total, 300,000 seedlings for sale to individuals. Government nurseries supply mainly exotic species like eucalyptus species, while NGO nurseries tend to supply more indigenous species and fruit trees. The number of planted trees nationwide is low due to drought and the unavailability of seedlings. This has made many people in Botswana conclude that management of natural woodlands, rather than planting of trees, is the only realistic option for supplying people with woodfuel and other forest products.
3. Management of natural woodlands
Walker (1990) reported that, in the past, local chiefs were very successful in managing natural woodlands in Botswana Conservation was encouraged through the deliberate use of existing taboos and beliefs. For example, the widespread belief that heifers belonging to persons responsible for cutting indigenous species, would only produce male calves was used to ensure such species were not cut.
After independence, the powers of chiefs in many areas were delegated to government officers who had little interest in managing the natural woodlands, thus leading to uncontrolled clearing of natural woodlands.
4. Role of NGOs in woodfuel production
NGOs have been more active in promoting and implementing tree-growing activities than the Government due to an acute shortage of official forestry staff.
An NGO, the Forestry Association of Botswana (FAB), has been leading in conducting forestry research on suitable woodfuel species, establishment of tree nurseries in rural areas, management of natural woodlands and creation of mass-awareness on the need to sustain tree-growing and environmental protection at the local level. FAB has also been involved in formulating the National Conservation Strategy of Botswana In addition, it has lobbied hard to influence national forestry policies and create awareness to the urgent need to strengthen the Forestry Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture.
Lesotho is a land locked country in the middle of the Republic of South Africa It has a total surface area of 30,350 square kilometres. The population of Lesotho in 1992 was estimated to be 1.9 million people with an average annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent (SADCC Energy Sector, 1992b)
Lesotho is largely a tree-less country, with no natural forest land other than shrub land. By mid- 1992, the total area planted with trees, through individual, school, and government woodlots was estimated to be around 20,000 ha, or 0.66 per cent of the country land area of which, only 9 per cent is suitable for permanent arable agriculture. About 80 per cent of the land is used as rangelands.
No individual or organization can own land in Lesotho, but people can acquire the right to use a piece of land for a specific purpose and for a specific time under customary law. The free grazing on agricultural fields after crop harvest make tree-growing by individual farmers almost impossible (Hall and Green, 1989).
Biomass fuels account for 88 per cent of the total energy consumed in Lesotho (in the rural areas, the proportion approaches 95 per cent), coal, paraffin, LPG and electricity accounting for the remaining 12 per cent. The main biomass fuels used and their contribution to the total national energy balance are: woodfuel, 62 per cent (mainly from shrubs), animal dung, 20 per cent and crop residues 6 per cent (MWEML, 1991).
The main woodfuel production technologies used in Lesotho are the establishment of woodlots and individual planting.
1. The Lesotho Woodlot Project (LOOP)
After the failures of a village tree-planting scheme of the 1940s, intensive establishment of woodlots for woodfuel and poles production was started again in 1973, when the Lesotho Woodlot Project was commenced by a private company, Anglo de Beers Forest Services Lesotho Ltd. The Overseas Development Administration (ODA) joined the LWP as a donor in 1974. The same year, the World Food Programme (WFP) provided additional support to the LWP through "food for work" (Green, 1990).
By the end of 1991, an area of about 10,250 ha of woodlots had been established in over 350 sites, as Government Forest Reserves. Some of the woodlots have now reached maturity. However, the Forestry Division is having problems selling wood from the mature woodlots due to the inaccessibility of the woodlots by trucks and lack of proper plans on how to sell the woodfuel. Furthermore, funds for re-establishing harvested woodlots are not available from local sources.
2. Individual tree-planting
The Lesotho Energy Master Plan of 1988 indicated that the country was experiencing acute energy scarcity for the household sector. To provide energy to the household sector, the Plan recommended that at least an equivalent of 7500 ha of woodlots be planted annually. To achieve this target, individual tree-planting on a participatory basis was emphasized. However, as stated earlier, due to uncontrolled grazing on crop land after harvesting, it has been difficult for individuals to grow trees on farmland successfully.
Malawi, located in Southern Africa, has a total surface area of 119,140 square kilometres of which 20 per cent is water. According to the 1987 population census, the population of Malawi was 8.0 million people, with an average growth rate of 3.2 per cent
The country is divided into three administrative regions, the Southern Region, the Central Region and the Northern Region. Rapid population growth has created severe land pressure in the Southern and Central Regions, where deforestation caused by expansion of agriculture land and the supply of poles and woodfuel is reported to be high.
Woodfuel for about 93 per cent of the total energy used in the country. Due to the high share of woodfuel in the energy balance of Malawi, efforts have been initiated to sustain woodfuel production.
The main woodfuel technologies used include establishment of rural woodfuel projects, of large-scale plantations, government and individual tree nurseries, demonstration woodlots combined with research, individual tree-planting programmes, conservation of natural forests and provision of bonus for surviving planes.
1. The Rural Fuelwood Project
The first government project to address the problem of woodfuel scarcity in Malawi, the Rural Fuelwood Project, was started in 1976. It was funded by the Government of Malawi with additional funds from a British Government grant. The main objective of the project was to establish plantations for woodfuel and poles production.
To facilitate selection of appropriate tree species, the country was divided into eight silvicultural zones. Successfully growing species in each zone were surveyed, documented and disseminated to extension workers. Research on suitable woodfuel species continued as a routine forestry activity.
In addition, another project, the Rural Fuelwood and Poles Research Project was also started. The long-term objective of the project was to provide the basic silvicultural information in order to promote rural afforestation for the sustained production of woodfuel and poles and to provide shade, fodder and soil improvement. It was financed by the Government of Malawi and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, which provided a grant of $Can500,000.
A total of 93 experimental plots were established at 73 sites in seven silvicultural zones. Of these, 48 sites were on communal lands used for grazing or denuded hill slopes, 20 on individual farmer's land and the remaining five in government forest reserves, as a safety measure against losses on the other sites.
Communal lands for establishing the trial plots were obtained through negotiations with chics and village headmen. Land in individual farms was obtained through negotiation with farmers, involving both wife and husband.
Paid labour was used for establishing and protecting the trial plots with some assistance from the community and individuals. The end-products of the trees belonged to those who had provided land, but they were not allowed to cut the trees without prior approval of forestry officers.
The project gave the following positive results:
· Support and land for tree-growing were obtained from the community and individual farmers because they had been consulted.
· It provided on-farm demonstration to farmers on the methods to grow trees and establish woodlots.
· It provided income to rural people, through employment by the project.
· It provided woodfuel, poles and local environmental protection.
· It provided some knowledge and experience of suitable exotic tree species for the areas covered by the trials.
2. The Malawi Wood Energy Project
The first large-scale woodfuel project in Malawi was the Wood Energy Project. which was started in 1979 with a World Bank loan of $US 10 million, and expanded in December 1986 with another World Bank loan of $US16.7 million. The main objective of the Project was to establish and develop a sustainable wood production programme to meet the current and future demands for woodfuel and construction poles, while conserving and ameliorating the natural forests and the environment. It aimed at increasing woodfuel production through government and private initiatives, enhance the economic utilization of woodfuels through the promotion of energy-efficient technologies, and improving natural ecosystems by offering efficient protection and management of the indigenous forests.
In the first phase, a total of 88 central-government nurseries were established by the end of 1988 which provided seedlings for establishing large-scale woodfuel plantations as well as for selling to farmers at a subsidized price.
By that time, a total of 15,000 ha of woodfuel plantations had been established by the Forestry Department using paid labour. The plantations were established close to urban centres, mainly in Lilongwe and Blantyre cities, with the main objective of providing woodfuel at affordable prices to urban low-income groups.
However, the first phase of the project proved to be a failure as, inspire of heavy subsidies, few farmers could afford the purchase of seedlings. Secondly, most of the farmers who planted trees indicated that their main objective was to produce poles for sale and for house construction and not for woodfuel. As long as free woodfuel was available from customary land forests, people did not feel compelled to plant trees except for sale.
The government woodfuel plantations under the monoculture production system proved to be very expensive, technically and financially.
Yields were low for most plantations: a mean annual increment of 4.6 m³ per ha per annum was obtained against a planned increment of 10 m³/ha/annum at a rotation of seven years. The plantations supplied less than 1 per cent of the wood consumed hence their contributions were insignificant.
These observations tend to suggest that large-scale plantations run by governments, might not be the best option for woodfuel production. On the other hand, tree-planting by the private sector, NGOs and the people themselves in participatory efforts appeared to be the most cost-effective way of growing woodfuel. However, the method required a catalytic support from the Government, through extension services and formulation of policies and laws which would promote and protect the interest of individual tree growers.
Wood from indigenous forests was regarded as a free commodity. To put a value to the wood, a pricing policy of woodfuel from indigenous forests was introduced, mainly to cover the cost of re-establishment of the trees (Nkaonja, 1990).
Lessons reamed from the first phase of the project and those collected by a special unit on social aspects related to woodfuel production were utilized in the implementation of phase two of the project started in 1987. The main differences between the two phases were:
· Less emphasis was placed in the second phase on large-scale government plantations and the main emphasis was directed towards tree-growing by the private sector on a participatory and sustainable system. The role of the Government and other funding agencies was limited to catalytic support.
· Small-scale farmers were encouraged to grow trees based on agroforestry practices.
· Large-scale tobacco farmers were encouraged to establish woodlots or woodfuel plantations to provide wood for tobacco curing.
· To intensify provision of extension services, the Malawi Forestry College and the Forestry Research Institute were strengthened, mainly through worker development. The key role of women in forestry development was emphasized. To enhance this key role, female student dormitories were constructed at the Malawi Forestry College to facilitate enrolment of female students.
· The private sector and individual farmers were encouraged to establish small-scale tree nurseries. Efforts were also made by the Government to decentralize its nurseries in order to locate them closer to the people. The 88 nurseries started under phase one were maintained and 60 new ones were added. Seedlings continued to be sold to farmers at a subsidized price and a wider range of species was raised in order to meet farmers' needs.
· To encourage and intensify proper protection and management of trees planted on farms and school compounds, a bonus system of about $US0.03 per surviving tree after two years was introduced. To qualify for the bonus, a farmer had to plant more that 100 trees. The bonus system had the main impacts of providing intermediate financial returns to the farmers whilst awaiting the financial benefits from the full rotation of the tree crops and reduced government costs of growing woodfuel through large-scale plantations, as the private-sector production costs were considerably lower.
· To enhance effective control and management of natural forests, chiefs requested the Government to reserve their communal natural forests. Once they had been reserved, the local people were not allowed to collect woodfuel from the forests without a permit. This decision enabled the area under Forest Department control to increase from 980,00 ha to 3.7 million ha.
3. The Blantyre City Woodfuel Plantation
The first phase of the Blantyre City Woodfuel Plantation Project was started in 1986 and was completed in 1991. It was funded by Norway with a grant of $US6,540,000. The main objective of the project was to manage an area of 65,000 ha of natural forest for the sustainable supply of woodfuel and poles. To fulfil the objective, woodfuel plantations were established in areas with low biomass potential, while management of existing natural woodlands was intensified (SADCC Forestry Sector, 1988; Chiyenda et al, 1989). By the end of 1991, a total of 6350 ha of woodfuel plantation was already established, mainly with eucalyptus species. However, the average productivity per hectare is reported to have been lower than predicted. In addition, the Forestry Division had no comprehensive plan on how to harvest and manage the plantation on a sustainable basis (SADCC Energy Sector, 1992a). NORAD, therefore, provided further financial and technical assistance to work out a system of harvesting and sustaining the project, based on local resources. Establishment of the plantations provided employment to over 4000 workers of whom 20 per cent were women.
4. Individual tree-planting programmes
The National Tree Planting Day Programme. The Programme was started in 1976 with the main objective of intensifying individual tree-growing. It is commemorated annually on 21 December, which is a public holiday for tree-planting. The average annual number of trees planted by this Programme is about 25 million (SADCC Energy Sector, 1992a).
The Carlsberg Brewery Company Tree Planting Programme. The company sponsors two tree seedlings for each bottle top of Carlsberg beer collected by tree growers. Through this system, the company supported the planting of 4 million trees in 1988 and 7 million trees in 1989. Although current figures are not available, the company's contributions to tree-growing is reported to be expanding progressively every year (Nkaonja, 1990).
Mozambique has a land area of 799,380 km² and is located in Southern Africa The population of Mozambique in 1990 was estimated to be around 15.7 million with an average annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent (Pereira, 1990).
Woodfuel accounts for more than 80 per cent of the total energy consumed in Mozambique and for about 95 per cent of the total energy used for domestic purposes.
Due to low population density, there is enough woodfuel resources to meet local demand from existing natural forests and woodlands. The annual demand of woodfuel is estimated at 16 million m³ while the annual potential supply is above 35 million m³. However, most of the forests are not accessible to the people due to civil war, which is, consequently, creating localized woodfuel scarcities, particularly around the cities. To enhance the supply of woodfuel to the majority of the low-income people, the Government has established large-scale urban woodfuel plantations in Maputo, Beira and Nampula.
1. Establishment of large-scale urban woodfuel plantations
Between the financial years 1978/79 and 1987/88 a total of 7892 ha of woodfuel plantations were established in Maputo (3696 ha), Beira (3231 ha) and Nampula (965 ha). The total costs of establishing the plantations were 1007 million meticais as the local component provided by the Government of Mozambique and $US4974 million, provided by NORAD as a grant.
The main objective of the plantations was to produce woodfuel and poles. The annual total planting target for the three towns were 1500 ha Hence, between the periods 1978/79 and 1987/88 a total of 15,000 ha should have been planted, but, in fact, only 7892 ha were planted due to shortage of a skilled and experienced workforce.
2. Individual tree-planting
In 1982, the Government, with the support of the mass media, launched a campaign of planting at least I million trees annually by individuals, for woodfuel, shade and fruits. In 1986, a campaign was launched in Maputo with its suburbs to plant ornamental trees around houses and along streets.
In 1985, the pert-urban dwellers of the main towns of Mozambique were encouraged to plant trees on agroforestry principles to intensify their subsistence farming. Nurseries were established to provide seedlings for individual tree-planting. In addition, farmers are planting trees so as to increase the value of their land.
3. NGOs' support in individual tree-planting
The Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO) is assisting farmers in individual treeplanting in Chokwe. They are conducting extension services, helping in raising multipurpose tree species and encouraging farmers to conserve indigenous trees on farmland. Their budget for the period 1987 to 1992 was estimated to be $US1.9 million. Treeplanting is also taking place in Umbeluzi with NGO support.
Swaziland, covering an area of 17,364 square kilometres, is land-locked between the Republic of South Africa and Mozambique. The census of 1986 estimated the population of Swaziland to be 676,000 with an average annual growth rate of 3.2 per cent.
There are two distinct systems of land tenure in Swaziland: the Swazi National Land (SNL), which is communally-owned and occupies 57 per cent of the total land area, and the Individual Tenure Farms (ITF) which can be bought and sold freely by Swazi citizens.
Woodfuel accounts for about 50 per cent of the total energy used in Swaziland. At the national level, 64 per cent of households use woodfuel exclusively for cooking and heating. However, for the rural areas, the proportion of households depending entirely on woodfuel for cooking and heating is over 91 per cent. Main sources of woodfuel for households are indigenous forests and trees on agriculture land, in particular black wattle which flourishes well in both the SNL and the ITF. It is estimated that black wattle covers about 7500 ha, of which 5000 ha are on the SNL with an average productivity of 6 m³/ha/year as compared to a productivity of 18 m³/ha/year on the ITF due to intensive management in the latter.
Swaziland also has more than 102,000 ha of intensively-managed industrial plantations for the production of woodpulp and saw-timber which also produce an estimated 150,000 tons of wood- waste annually. A proportion of this waste is used for the generation of electricity and the rest is either collected for household woodfuel by those who have access to the plantation, or burned or left to rot in the forest.
Localized woodfuel scarcities in the SNL, mainly due to population pressure, are being experienced and it is reported to be expanding rapidly (Magumba, 1990). For this reason, the Government of Swaziland has initiated tree-growing and environmental protection programmes.
The main woodfuel technologies employed in Swaziland include raising of seedlings in centralized government nurseries, establishment of community woodlots and encouragement of individual tree-growing.
1. Establishment of nurseries
Centralized government nurseries have been established by the Forestry Department for raising seedlings, primarily for the community and individual woodlots on the SNL. The woodlots are expected to produce woodfuel and poles as well as contribute to soil conservation. Seedlings are issued free of charge and technical expertise is provided by extension workers on the establishment and management of tree crops.
Community woodlots are established under the supervision of local chiefs and their society, through participatory efforts. The chief nominates a special village committee to select sites for woodlots and mobilize people for the establishment, protection and tending of the woodlots. Eucalyptus trees are generally grown for a rotation period of five to eight years under a coppicing system. Mahlangatsha village has managed to establish a 155 ha eucalyptus woodlot, which is currently generating income to the village through sale of poles and woodfuel.
In spite of the encouraging success of the Mahlangatsha village project, Magumba (1990) reported that establishment of community woodlots is experiencing the following problems:
· Most people are not enthusiastic about community woodlot projects and they would prefer individual tree-planting.
· Individual farmers sometimes take trees for planting (as they are issued free) but do not plant them, due to pressure on farming, leaving the trees to dry up in their backyards.
Villagers believe that trees are self-regenerating entities which do not require weeding or fertilization. In some areas, they expect establishment of woodlots to be the Government's responsibility, using paid labour as for demonstration plots.
· Protection of woodlots from grazing animals by fencing is the greatest problem with community woodlots. Where fencing is not done by the Government a local NGO or donor agency, then the chance of trees surviving in community woodlots is almost zero.
Learning from models of best practices and intensification of extension services are, however, expected to enhance the successful establishment of woodlots with individual tree-planting being emphasized.
2. NGO and donor support
Magumba (1990) reported that the Council of Swaziland Churches was the first NGO in Swaziland to support tree-growing efforts. Its support, which started in 1989, includes introduction of tree-growing and establishment of tree nurseries in schools, provision of funds for establishing tree nurseries in rural areas and fencing materials for community woodlots.
The main donors supporting woodfuel production and environmental protection in Swaziland are: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) which provided funds for conducting an inventory of indigenous forests and on how to improve their management which was conducted in 1986, and the German Association for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) which is supporting household woodfuel-consumption surveys and inventories of existing potential of black wattle for producing woodfuel.
According to Magumba (1990) and the SADCC Energy Sector (1992a), the main constraints in woodfuel production in Swaziland are:
· Critical shortage of a trained workforce.
· Lack of an integrated land-use plan for the SNL which would have effectively combined forestry, livestock and agriculture, and ensured sustainable land management and economic growth.
· Lack of knowledge of suitable woodfuel species with multi-purpose uses.
· Low priority accorded to forestry and tree-growing in rural areas within the total development system of the country.
· Lack of comprehensive multi-sectorial policies and strategies for enhancing coordination between sectors, NGOs and donors dealing with land-use planning, agriculture, forestry, livestock and environmental protection.
The United Republic of Tanzania is located in East Africa and, based on a 1988 census, its population was estimated to be around 25.3 million in 1992 with an annual growth rate of 2.8 per cent.
Woodfuel is the principal source of energy, quantitatively accounting for 91 per cent of the total energy consumed. The dependency on woodfuel is expected to continue for the foreseeable future but the supply of woodfuel potential is dwindling in all regions.
Since the welfare of the people of Tanzania depends, to a large extent, on the sustainable management of its land resources, the Government has accorded high priority to the production of woodfuel and to environmental protection (MWEMT, 1991).
The main woodfuel-production technologies used include establishment of communal woodlots, combination of land reclamation with woodfuel production, central and individual nurseries, use of cuttings and self-germinating seedlings, individual tree-planting based on agroforestry, intensification of women involvement in the programmes, adoption of a multisectorial approach and monitoring of past efforts in order to learn from models of best practices.
1. Establishment of communal village woodlots
Considerations of woodfuel as a major source of energy and the need to sustain its production started in 1967, when the Government adopted a policy with a major emphasis on rural development. In 1968, regional tree-planting efforts were started in all regions with seedlings being raised in government nurseries and issued free to villages for establishing communal woodlots for woodfuel production. Exotic species were planted, based on the availability of seeds and ease of raising seedlings.
Village governments set aside land for establishing communal woodlot and provided free labour for land preparation and planting the trees. However, after planting, most village governments did not tend or protect the woodlots from grazing animals which led to mass failures (Mnzava, 1983).
Research on arid zone afforestation to find suitable tree species for woodfuel was initiated in 1970 with SIDA financial and technical assistance. Trial plots, which consist mainly of exotic species, are now the main sources of seeds to farmers.
2. Combination of land reclamation with woodfuel production
In 1973, the first large-scale National Soil Conservation Project (Hifadhi Ardhi Dodoma HADO) was started, with the objectives of reclaiming eroded land and producing woodfuel. It was jointly funded by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and SIDA.
The main activities of the project in the initial phase were soil conservation, establishment of woodlots and encouragement of people to plant trees on farmland for environmental conservation and for woodfuel.
Achievements attained in the initial 10 years of project implementation were:
Establishment of woodlots. A total of 2624 ha of woodlots were established as demonstration areas to villagers on growing trees and on Land conservation.
Individual tree-planting. A total of 3.4 million seedlings were distributed to individual farmers for planting on their farms.
Conservation of natural woodlands. After 10 years, the project area of 114,000 ha was satisfactorily covered with shrubs, small trees and grass. Due to this success it was decided to allow villagers to collect fodder and dead wood from the area for fuelwood.
The success of HADO encouraged other regions to initiate similar land-reclamation programmes. In addition, a second phase of HADO, based on a multi-sectorial management team, has been initiated with the main objective of integrating forestry, agriculture, livestock and environmental protection as a sound Land-use system for the project area.
3. Monitoring of tree-growing efforts and learning from models of best practices
In 1981 a small community forestry unit was established by the Forestry Division to monitor and disseminate models of best tree-growing practices in the United Republic of Tanzania and in other African countries. The main impacts of the unit to woodfuel production include:
· On-going systematic monitoring and follow-up of tree-growing efforts in the regions which were initiated in 1981. Data on seedlings distribution, field survival rates and technologies used for growing trees are collected, analysed and lessons learned communicated back to tree-growers to facilitate sharing of field experiences.
· A national mass awareness campaign on tree-growing and environmental protection is being conducted in order to cover grass root problems adequately.
· Sociological studies on farmers' needs for tree-growing and analysis of traditional methods for growing trees were conducted in 1982/83 with FAO assistance (FAO, 1984; Mnzava, 1983; Mascarenhas et al, 1983).
· The first Tanzania Five Year National Village Afforestation Plan 1982/83 to 1986/87 was compiled in 1983 (Kaale, 1983) which emphasised the need to give high priority to individual and school tree-growing. It also emphasized the need to intensify management of natural forests and adoption of a multi-sectorial approach in implementing woodfuel production programmes.
4. The Shinyanga region soil conservation project (HASHI)
The project was stated in 1986 with the Government and NGOs providing catalytic support in terms of finance and technical assistance. The bulk of the project activities are undertaken by village governments and individuals on a self-reliance basis. Between 1987 and 1989 the HASHI project distributed 2.1 million seedlings from forest nurseries to 113 villages for individual planting on farm lands (Mnzava, 1990).
5. Establishment of nurseries
Tree seedlings are raised in a few government nurseries, located close to water reservoirs and distributed to individual farmers and schools. Self-germinating trees and shrubs on farmland are protected by farmers and are assisted to grow through weeding and mulching. Through this system, millions of self-germinated trees are now available on farmlands.
Individual farmers are also planting trees for shade by using wildings obtained from pioneer species which were planted in some villages a few years ago through a World Bank-funded project. The existing trees also provide seeds for direct sowing on farm land.
Cuttings are widely planted as shade trees and as fence for animal kraals; however' et the end they are used for woodfuel.
6. Intensifying women's role in tree-planting
To intensify tree-planting by women, the project associates women in its village treeplanting. The project facilitates Women Organisation branches in their mobility for implementing development programmes like child health care, clean water and treeplanting. Through this catalytic support, women's organizations in Shinyanga have become effective extension agents and more importantly, they understand the role of trees in their society and how to promote treegrowing, by utilizing local knowledge.
7. Management of natural woodlands
The main actions taken include exclusion of livestock, restricted tree-cutting and eradication of wild fires to encourage natural regeneration. By the end of 1989, village governments had set aside 26,285 ha of natural forests for conservation. Customary laws and beliefs are used for protecting the forests (Mnzava, 1990).
Woodlots have been established on a few strategic areas by the Forest Department for demonstration purposes and for testing the performance of new tree species. Between 1987 and 1989 a total of 410 ha of woodlots were established. Government institutions, such as prisons and schools, have also established woodlots for meeting their own woodfuel demand.
9. Tree-planting by individual farmers
Provided with appropriate opportunities, individual tree-planting has proved to be an important contributor to woodfuel supply and environmental protection in the Babati district. Instead of concentrating trees in one area, as with plantations or woodlots, individual planting has facilitated to scatter trees over a large area, consequently enhancing supply of woodfuel close to consumers and improving the macro climate. Due to people's participation, costs of establishment and protection are very low as compared to woodlots or plantations. Women and children play a major part in tending and protecting trees, during farming and grazing.
10. Individual tree -planting in Bashnet village
Bashnet village is one of the few villages in the semi-arid zone of Tanzania which has managed to grow trees and meet its demand for woodfuel and poles from individually planted trees.
Successes were achieved with the initial planters, and the number of villagers growing black wattle increased slowly. By 1960, it had picked up involving the whole village community. Currently each household has a black wattle plot, sufficient to supply its needs of fuelwood and building materials.
Zambia, located in Southern Africa, has an areas of 750,614 sq km, with flat topography, except for isolated hills and hill ranges. In 1990, its population was estimated to be about 8,120,000 with an average annual growth rate of 3.7 per cent. About 44 per cent of the population live in urban areas. More than 95 per cent of Zambian households depend on woodfuel as their major source of domestic energy (Akapelwa, 1990).
It is estimated that 55 per cent of Zambia's land is covered with forests and woodlands. The supply of woodfuel is therefore high, but scarcities are experienced in areas with high population densities, in particular around cities with Lusaka being the worst affected area (Chidumayo, 1989). Efforts have, therefore, been initiated to increase the supply of woodfuel in deficit areas.
The main woodfuel-production technologies used are: establishment of woodfuel plantations, intensive research on suitable species for woodfuel, individual tree-planting based on agroforestry, establishment of woodlots by commercial farmers and management of natural forests. NGOs and donor agencies are both active in supporting on-going initiatives.
1. Woodfuel plantations
In 1976, establishment of 6000 ha of rural plantations for production of poles and woodfuel was started in the Copperbelt Province and a few other places, with a loan of $US5 million from the World Bank. Species planted were mainly eucalyptus (Akapelwa, 1990).
In 1978, an attempt to start a large-scale woodfuel plantation for Lusaka with a target of 7500 ha had failed due to lack of donor assistance. Nonetheless, through local resources, a total of 100 ha was established by the end of 1991 (SADCC Energy Sector, 1992a).
2. Research on suitable woodfuel species
Intensive research on suitable woodfuel species was started in 1984 with a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada A total of 13 different eucalyptus species, 38 acacia species, and various Leucaena leucocephala species were tried at four sites. This has provided useful information on suitable tree species for woodfuel and poles production (Akapelwa, 1990).
3. Individual tree-planting
Individual tree-planting on agroforestry principles is encouraged, with financial and technical assistance from the International Committee for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). On-going activities include: identification of tree species suitable for agroforestry, development of suitable agroforestry techniques and transferring these techniques to farmers.
4. National Tree Planting Day programme
A large number of trees are planted by individuals during the National Tree Planting Day (15 December) and during the national tree-planting month which is between 15 December and 15 January. For example, between 1985/86 and 1988/89, a total of 2.8 million trees was planted although the target was to plant 20 million trees annually. The shortfall is attributed to a shortage of seedlings from government nurseries.
NGOs and donor agencies are contributing effectively to tree-growing efforts in Zambia. The Children's Christian Fund, based in Lusaka, has been actively engaged in individual tree-planting at Katuba and in the pert-urban of Lusaka. For example, in 1989, the Fund managed to plant about 10,000 trees. Other donors supporting tree-growing programmes include SIDA, IDRC, the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) and DANIDA.
5. Establishment of woodlots
Commercial farmers in Zambia, especially tobacco and coffee farmers, have formed a "Commercial Farmers Bureau" for tree-growing. Tobacco farmers in Choma and Kalomo districts have established woodlots of eucalyptus species, for curing Virginia tobacco, of sizes ranging between 10 and 30 ha Coffee farmers have planted trees as wind breaks.
6. Management of natural woodlands
Management of natural woodlands is practiced by the Forestry Department in gazetted forest reserves, through early burning at the start or mid of the dry season (April - July). Early burning results in a patchy burn and lower fuel loads, which prevent the occurrence of extensive and destructive heat, consequently promoting biomass regeneration (Akapelwa, 1990). Outside the forest reserves, there is little management by the public. Chidumayo (1989) and Akapelwa (1990) strongly urge that more emphasis be given to the management of existing natural forests and woodlands which is a pre-requisite for sustaining woodfuel supply and environmental protection in Zambia.
Zimbabwe, situated in Southern Africa, has a total area of 391,000 square kilometres and its population in 1991 was estimated by Moyo et al (1991) to be around 10 million, with an average annual growth rate of 3.0 per cent. About 22 per cent of the population live in urban areas.
Makoni (1990) reported that woodfuel accounts for 85 per cent of household energy consumption and for about 40 per cent of all energy consumed in Zimbabwe. However, the supply of woodfuel is dwindling rapidly in particular in the communal land, consequently creating localized woodfuel scarcities.
Land use in Zimbabwe is divided into three main sectors, namely, communal land, commercial farms and urban areas. Production of woodfuel takes place in the first two sectors.
Communal lands constitute 42 per cent of the total land and is used by more than 60 per cent of the total population. Communal lands are located in semi-arid to arid areas with poor soils such as in the provinces of Masvingo, Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South and Midlands. As the land is communally owned, individual farmers can cultivate but not sell the land. Communal free- grazing is also practiced, which has contributed to serious overstocking. Scarcity of woodfuel in Zimbabwe is mainly confined to the communal lands, due to population pressure and poor soil fertility. Also, it is estimated that between 70,000 and 100,000 ha of woodlands are cleared for agricultural expansion annually (Moyo et al 1991).
Commercial farms constitute 43 per cent of the total land area They are located in the best fertile lands and their average size is about 2500 ha per farm. They are normally self-sufficient in energy supply including woodfuel.
The Government of Zimbabwe, like those of many other developing countries, has initiated tree-growing programmes for woodfuel and environmental protection.
1. The Zimbabwe Rural Afforestation Project
The initial main government effort in tree-growing for woodfuel and environmental protection in Zimbabwe was the Rural Afforestation Project, Phase one. It was implemented between 1983 and 1989 with a total budget of $Zim 17.4 million (about $US7.31 million) from the World Bank and executed by the Forestry Commission. The project had the following major components:
· Establishment of centralized nurseries for seedling production;
· Establishment of demonstration and trial woodlots;
· Establishment of woodlots in the communal lands;
· Establishment of block plantations in urban and rural areas.
Nurseries were successfully established and seedlings produced according to targets. However, costs were very high, when compared with those of NGOs and school nurseries.
Demonstration trial woodlots of 5 ha in size, were established close to most nurseries. The objective was to demonstrate to farmers the rotational practices of the species tried. However, farmers were not prepared to establish such woodlots or to practice fixed rotations.
Establishment of woodlots in communal land through participatory efforts was not successful either. Farmers were required to establish small woodlots of 750 trees (0.5 ha) each but most of them were keen to plant only a few trees on farmland and not to establish woodlots, partly due to land scarcity.
Establishment of block plantations also proved to be very expensive and as a result the target of establishing a total of 1400 ha was not attained.
Some of the basic weaknesses of the initial planning of the project were:
· It was based mainly on paid labour with little people's participation; Local knowledge on tree-growing and possible interventions for meeting rural and urban woodfuel needs were not considered in detail;
· The multiple use of tree products and people's needs were ignored, the project concentrating only on woodfuel;
· Central nurseries were expensive due to the need to construct supportive infrastructure, and the cost of distributing seedlings over long distances;
· Growing of indigenous species was ignored in favour of exotic species;
The whole project suffered from a rigid conception that was not sufficiently based on actual socio-economic situation of the target population.
According to Makoni (1990), the main constraints experienced in implementing the phase one were:
· Lack of an experienced workforce for implementing woodfuel programmes.
· Inadequate extension services to farmers;
· Land shortage for establishing woodlots in the communal lands;
· Grazing problems on woodlots and planted trees on farm lands;
· Lack of a knowledge of suitable tree species for the different ecological zones of the country.
Nevertheless, the experience gained from the project provided a better opportunity for implementing future projects more successfully.
Phase two of the project was initiated by encouraging the following: individual treeplanting on agroforestry principles; establishment of small local nurseries in villages or schools or by individual farmers; establishment of pilot schemes in forest and grazing management; consideration of local knowledge on tree growing, farmers' needs and growing of multi-purpose trees including indigenous species; and adoption of a multisectorial approach in planning and implementing the project.
2. Catalytic assistance from NGOs
NGOs in Zimbabwe have been active and instrumental in the development of afforestation activities in the rural areas. They provide materials for establishing individual nurseries and individual tree-growing on agroforestry principles, conduct courses, workshops and seminars on tree-growing, establish woodlots and provide management of natural woodlands. They also conduct research on indigenous species for woodfuel and identification of indigenous technical knowledge on tree growing and management of forests.
1. Analysis of the case studies 1. Introduction
The case studies show the existence of several common features and constraints related to woodfuel production. Several of these features are also common to the other biomassenergy technologies described in this report and are examined at the end of the report. Here, only features relevant to woodfuel-production technologies are examined.
2. Supply-side constraints
(a) Understanding the woodfuel problem
Lack of knowledge of the supply potential of woodfuel and the rate of its depletion is a major constraint. Without reliable data on the supply potential, it is difficult to understand the dynamics of the woodfuel-production process.
(b) Lack of knowledge of means to sustain woodfuel supply
Efforts to sustain woodfuel supply started in the mid-1970s. This task was given to foresters, but they had little experience on how to sustain tree crops in farmland and rangelands. The means for sustaining woodfuel supply are, therefore, only being developed through trial and error.
(c) Lack of knowledge of suitable specks
To meet the farmers' needs for growing trees, a wide range of species for the different ecological zones has to be tested and proven appropriate, before they are given to farmers to grow them on a wide scale. Unfortunately, knowledge on appropriate species is lacking, particularly for indigenous species, as past research efforts concentrated only on exotic species. Furthermore, research results of the few species studied are not yet widely disseminated which thus inhibits sharing of experiences and learning from models of best practices.
(d) Land-tenure problems
In many countries, land tenure is based on undefined traditional laws and rules. Management of woodlands under communal land tenure thus tends to be problematic, in particular where such efforts are not initiated by the local people themselves.
(e) Termites and drought attacks
In the arid and semi-arid ecological zones, drought and termites attacks on planted trees are a problem, particularly with exotic species. Termite- and drought-resistant species are, therefore, urgently needed.
(f) Shortage of seeds
Seeds of species appropriate for woodfuel and agroforestry are in short supply. In addition, many of the desired species have low seed viability and require special storage facilities. Seed collection and distribution centres for woodfuel species are not yet established, except for a few NGOs which are assisting in seed collection and distribution.
(g) Lack of knowledge on traditional methods of growing indigenous trees species
The main reason why foresters concentrate on exotic species is their lack of knowledge on how to grow most of the indigenous species. This is leading to a loss of genetic resources, and a risk of losing the planted trees in the event of a disease or insect epidermic.
(h) Lack of emphasis on management of natural forests
Tree growing in arid and semi-arid climatic zones is difficult. For these areas, effective management of the indigenous natural forests is a pre-requisite for sustaining woodfuel supply. This is lacking in most countries.
(i) Lack of harvesting and marketing plans for urban woodfuel plantations
In most cases, only establishment plans have been developed for urban woodfuel plantations. Harvesting and marketing plans are not yet developed. As a result, foresters experience problems in selling woodfuel from the few maturing urban plantations.
3. Demand-side constraints
The demand-side constraints refer to those factors which prevent people obtaining wood from supply sources. These are, mainly, inaccessibility, privatization, unaffordability and low security.
Natural forests and large-scale timber plantations, which could contribute to woodfuel production, are located far from many users' reach, in particular beyond their walking distance. Inaccessibility, therefore, limits the contribution of these potential woodfuel supply sources to the community.
Granting of land-tenure rights to individuals, in particular large-scale farmers, privatize large areas which were formerly the main sources of wood to surrounding villagers and landless people. In many cases, collection of woodfuel from private farms is prohibited and protected by law. It is therefore, not an uncommon phenomenon, to find under-utilized woodfuel resources in private farms, while the majority of the surrounding population experiences woodfuel scarcity.
The following can be concluded from the case studies.
Woodfuel is the main source of energy, but its supply potential is dwindling rapidly, locking people into a vicious circle of energy scarcity, poverty, soil deterioration and environmental degradation.
Efforts have been initiated in all the countries to increase woodfuel production using technologies appropriate to local conditions. The most successful and sustained technologies which also used local initiatives are: tree nurseries run by individuals, school and NGOs; tree planting by individuals on agroforestry; woodlots established by commercial farmers and government institutions; and management of communal natural forests through traditional laws and beliefs.
Production technologies which were not very successful were communal woodlots, which were unsuccessful due to villagers' unwillingness to have to tend and protect them from grazing animals, and large-scale woodfuel plantations, which proved to be too expensive to establish.
The contributions of donors and NGOs in woodfuel production have been significant. However, use of wrong production technologies has often minimized their impact: sharing of field experiences from different models of best practices of woodfuel production could enhance the success of future projects.
Finally, sustainability of woodfuel production, which is a pre-requisite for enhancing overall sustainable development, relies upon active people's participation, where production of woodfuel is part and parcel of their daily development efforts, just as for food crops. NGOs, Government and donors' catalytic support are however, instrumental for enhancing people's efforts. Arnold ( 1991) stated that, the desired condition is that of active participation of the local people, with external involvement being of a supportive rather than management nature.