Vol.16. Nos.1 (2017) pp.33-45

Potential of Bamboo as a Source of Household Income in South Western Uganda

Authors:F. Kalanzi , C. Mwanja1, H. Agaba, R. T. Guuroh

Abstract:Bamboo is one of the most valuable Non-Timber Forest Products in the world. However, despite documented uses of bamboo the extent to which it contributes to improved household income in Uganda is quite unclear. This study was conducted in south western Uganda in areas adjacent to bamboorich Echuya forest reserve to ascertain the nature of products processed from bamboo and their contribution to household income. Households involved in bamboo harvesting were selected using systematic random sampling by proportional allocation using a sampling frame that was generated with the help of local leaders and Nature Uganda field staff. Atotal of 114 bamboo harvesters were selected and interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Group discussions, field observations and market surveys were also used to supplement the data collected through individual interviews. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics while income calculation was based on gross margins. The results indicate that 87% of the respondents obtained bamboo from the forest. The main products from bamboo were baskets, beehives, winnowing trays, stakes, poles and firewood. Generally, men dominated the bamboo activities. The average total income obtained from the sale of bamboo products in south western Uganda was UGX 125,902 with a gross margin of 51.6%. Our study reveals that there is a wide range of bamboo products developed based on local knowledge. Such products offer additional income to local people. We recommend interventions that can build on the local expertise in product design to enhance the quality of these products and generate more market opportunities to local communities.

Keywords:Bamboo products, Socio-economic, Echuya Forest, Livelihoods

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