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International Journal of Agricultural Science Research

International Journal of Agricultural Science Research Vol. 11(1), pp. 001-007, July, 2023 ISSN 2327-3321 ©2023 Academe Research Journals



The Role of Forest for Rural Livelihood Diversification in Ethiopia

Ewunetu Tazebew1, Zemenu Woldie2

1Department of general forestry and college of agriculture and environmental science, Gondar University, Gondar, Ethiopia

2 Sustainable Natural Resource Management Association (SUNARMA), Ethiopia

*Corresponding author. E-mail: ewnetutazebew2015@gmail.com

Accepted 2 June, 2023


Forest resource is believed to diversify rural livelihood by driving a range of products and services. However, until recently evidence in the forest literature supporting these perceived benefits has been scarce. Thus the current review paper brings together a series of scientific papers from around Ethiopia to address recent findings on rural livelihood diversification contribution of forest. Forest diversifies rural livelihoods living in and around the forest surrounding through supplying direct products such as fuel wood, wild fruit, honey, and timber and by selling and consuming other woody and non-woody products. In addition, forests also generate formal and informal employment opportunities and provide environmental services that support the sustainable operation of other sectors. From the dryland forests of Ethiopia, households earn a significant amount of income for their livelihoods improvement and considerable employment opportunities. The level of forest use and the degree of reliance on forest products differ across the wealth and gender status of the households. Forest income was found more important for poor households than for medium and rich households. Female members generated about four times more forest income than male members in the Jelo Afromontane forest. The current review paper result also shows woody and non-woody products of forest provide natural insurance to rural communities in the form of alternative sources of income and subsistence in times of unexpected shocks e.g. floods, drought, and economic misfortunate. Forest income also helps some of the rural households to remain above the poverty line. Generally, forest diversifies the rural livelihood condition and should be considered in policy decision making. 

Keywords:  forest, gender empowerment, income, livelihood diversification, poverty alleviation