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Forest incomes and rural livelihoods in Chiradzulu District, Malawi

The paper examines forest income among villagers in Chiradzulu, Malawi. The area is generally poor with 97% living on income of less than USD1 per day. Using data from interviews of 160 households in two sites the paper categorised the villagers into three groups of poor, medium and less poor. Findings indicate that 15% of total income comes from forests. The poorest segment of the interviewees depend more on forest income than the least poor group but the medium category showed highest dependence. Fuel wood constitutes the major source of such income followed by fodder. The incomes are used for consumption. Those with greater access to the forest earned higher income. The paper concludes that restricting people's access to forest resources can have a substantial effect on household livelihoods and welfare, and would serve to increase income inequalities in the area.

Author(s): 
Kamanga, P., Vedeld, P. and Sjaastad
Source: 
Ecological economics
Volume etc.: 
613-624
Publisher: 
Elsevier
Year published: 
2009