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University of South Africa (2012)

The contribution of small-scale timber farming in enhancing sustainable livelihood at Sokhulu

Jele, Zanele

Titre : The contribution of small-scale timber farming in enhancing sustainable livelihood at Sokhulu

Auteur : Jele, Zanele

Université de soutenance : University of South Africa

Grade : Master in Human Ecology 2012

Résumé
Small-scale timber farming provides alternative income for growers selling to forestry, procurement companies and timber suppliers or agents. The research used focus groups and structured questionnaires in the Sokhulu area to determine the contribution of small-scale timber farming to enhance sustainable livelihood. The Sustainable Livelihood Framework measured livelihood levels of different grower types in terms of access to natural, human, financial, social and physical assets. Findings show that timber suppliers had a higher asset composition, than growers selling to companies or growers selling to timber suppliers. Households lacking access to forestry resources sold timber to agents and households wanting to avoid harvesting and transport risks sold timber to suppliers. Timber farming contributes income, employment and business opportunities towards alleviating poverty rather than providing a complete solution. Tree harvesting support households during financial hardship and reduce vulnerability through diversified livelihood strategies. Disadvantages include : trees taking time to mature while immediate income is required, trees exposed to natural hazards, cheating by local harvesting and transport contractors and timber plot sales sometimes do not receive the agreed price. Despite disadvantages, timber farming provide economic benefits and further studies are needed to determine income level on mature trees, by-product sales and whether higher prices for more tonnage will sustain households that wait for tree maturity, thereby determining optimal break-even point for rural timber farmers.

Mots clés : small-scale timber farming, sustainable livelihood, Sokhulu, capital assets

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Page publiée le 10 février 2016, mise à jour le 29 mai 2018