Commercial Charcoal Production and Sustainable Community Development of the Upper West Region, Ghana

Kwasi Osei Agyeman, Owusu Amponsah, Imoro Braimah, Stephen Lurumuah

Abstract


Policy discussions have suggested a complete ban on charcoal production and the introduction of substitutes to meet the energy needs of the growing number of consumers. These discussions are fuelled by the effects of the charcoal industry’s activitities on the environment. On the contrary, the authors of this paper highlight the need to sustain the charcoal industry in the Upper West Region of Ghana. This conclusion was arrived at through an analysis of the charcoal industry’s role in economic development of some communities in the Upper West Region. Data gathered from 500 commercial charcoal producers and 50 charcoal buyers indicated that commercial charcoal production is a major source of livelihood. While charcoal producers earned monthly incomes of about GH¢200, the buyers’ earned between GH¢82 - 2 343 per month. Despite its economic importance, the industry’s environmental problems are enormous. These were attributed to the extraction of raw materials, mainly live trees, from the natural forest without replacement. The authors concluded that the way forward towards sustainable economic development through charcoal production lies in the adoption of efficient charcoal production technologies.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/jsd.v5n4p149



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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online)

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