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Effect of charcoal production on livelihoods and environment in agrarian communities of Adoka District, Benue State, Nigeria

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Forest Production and Products, Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, 970001, Nigeria
  • 2Department of Forest Production and Products, Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, 970001, Nigeria
  • 3Department of Forest Production and Products, Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, 970001, Nigeria

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 12, Issue (3), Pages 1-12, October,22 (2023)


Effect of charcoal production on livelihoods and environment in Idoka District, Benue State, Nigeria was assessed. Charcoal production communities were selected randomly and visited. Multi-stage sampling method was employed to select targeted respondents and interviewed with Google Form semi-structured questionnaire. Three Council Wards and six communities were chosen for the study. A total of 60 respondents were interviewed. Respondents were mostly married (61.7%) males (98.3%) and Christians (81.7%). Majority of respondents (36.7%) were in 21 – 30 years age class, had tertiary education (40%) and were farmers (46.6%). Every respondent (100%) agreed that charcoal was produced in Adoka District while 51.7% indicated 21 to 30 individuals were involved in the charcoal production. Prosopis africana (71.7%), Khaya senegalensis (21.7%), Magnifera indica (5.0%) and Lophira lanceolate (1.7%) were utilized and P. africana (88.3%) was the most preferred. Prosopis africana also used for: firewood (100%), condiment (66.7%), timber (33.3%), medicine (20%) and, food and tools making (16.7%). Most respondents (95%) felled 1 - 5 trees per charcoal production while they daily (98.3%) engaged in the business. Respondents (73.3%) earned N5,000 daily and 66.7% earned above N30,000 monthly; and invested earnings on trading (60%), farming (13.3%), unnamed businesses (18.3%), purchase of motorcycle/vehicle (45%), building of houses (30%), payment of school fees (21.7%) and marrying wife(es) 1.7%). Perceived environmental impact of charcoal production were air pollution (58.3%), soil infertility/degradation (36.7), deforestation (20%) and poor yield of agricultural crops (16.7%). Respondents were exposed to fire burn (70%), leg injury 46.7%), hand injury (30%), eye related problems (11.7%) and wait pain (3.3%) while they used protective materials like boot (88.3%), eye googles (43.3%) and hand gloves (38.3%)during charcoal production exercise. In conclusion, despite the benefits of charcoal production in Adoka District, the exercise has had adverse impacts on the environment.


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