Impact And Assessment Of Charcoal Marketing System Through Community Associations In Kitui County, Kenya

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Luvanda A. M. , Kitheka, E., Oduor, N., Kyalo, E. M. and Githiomi, J.

Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya

 

A market survey was conducted among twelve Charcoal Producer Associations (CPAs) in three sub-counties of Kitui County namely Kitui East, Mwingi and Kitui South using a semi structured questionnaire. The objectives of this study were to: carry out a baseline survey among charcoal producers, transporters and whole-sellers/vendors within the study area; and analyze the socio-economic contribution of charcoal to the livelihood of local communities in the study area. The findings showed that charcoal was mainly produced using the traditional earth kiln. The results of a gross margin analysis demonstrated that the producers, vendors and wholesalers earned an average monthly income of KShs 11,000, 51,000 and 160,000 respectively in 2013. The average producer price was Ksh 400 while wholesalers/transporter received a price of KShs. 1,200 in Nairobi and Thika. The priority tree species preferred for charcoal production include Acacia tortilis, Terminalia prunoides, Senna abbreviata and Balanites aegyptica. The Kitui County government has enacted legislation to regulate the production, transportation and trade in charcoal. Charcoal is associated with improved livelihood of producers through employment creation and income generation. Adverse environmental concerns are also enormous though they can be mitigated through tree planting and use of efficient conversion technologies. This effort should be followed by sensitization of stakeholders and lifting of the current ban to pave way towards the operationalization of the Charcoal Regulations 2009.

 

Keywords: Charcoal; Marketing; Producer; Vendors; Wholesalers. 

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