The contribution of Eucalyptus woodlots to the livelihoods of small scale farmers in tropical and subtropical countries with special reference to the Ethiopian highlands

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Forest Products

Abstract: Different eucalyptus species have an ability to grow in a wide range of ecological conditions and are found almost all over the world, mostly in tropical and subtropical countries. Small scale farmers in least developing countries plant eucalyptus widely compared to other tree species. Hence, the aim of this study was to contribute to the pros and cons of eucalyptus in different regions. Eucalypts have several important qualities for the smallholders; they are easy to establish even on degraded land and easy to manage, and have few natural enemies, a wide ecological range, good survival, high growth rate, many important uses and a reliable source of cash income. The use of eucalypt is environmentally controversial; it is difficult to prove that the genus has particular negative effects compared to other common fast growing plantation species. It was further found that eucalypts have specific economic advantages for the smallholders; a stable and accessible market even in remote areas, produce high value particularly on small densely planted woodlots and give an early return on investment compared to other plantation species resulting in a more even cash flow. Thus, eucalyptus hold obvious potentials to contribute to poverty alleviate among smallholders.

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