Modelling choice of fuelwood source among rural households in Malawi: A multinominal probit anlaysis

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This paper addresses the following question: What determines household's choice of fuelwood collection source? We address this question by estimating the multinomial probit model using survey data for households surrounding Chimaliro and Liwonde forest reserves in Malawi. After controlling for heterogeneity among households, we find strong substitution across fuelwood sources. Attributes of the fuelwood sources (size and species composition) and distance to them are the most important determinants of fuelwood choice. Further results show that customary forests generate environmental benefits by reducing pressure on both plantation forests and forest reserves. These findings support the need to focus more on community forests in national forest policies, and to strengthen community-based institutions to manage these forests.

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