Analysis of Charcoal Value Chain in Semi-arid Central Pokot Sub County, Kenya
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Pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in the drylands of Kenya are faced with many challenges dominant of them being recurrent and prolonged droughts which have triggered a number of responses aimed at enhancing the resilience of pastoral households against such shocks. In the past three decades, charcoal production has increasingly gained popularity as a livelihood diversification strategy and source of income among rural communities in the drylands of Kenya, in most cases ranking second after livestock production. Nonetheless, there is inadequate empirical evidence on charcoal production in the Arid and Semi- Arid Lands (ASALs), which has led to a lack of understanding and proof to guide promotion of sustainable charcoal production in pastoral areas. This study therefore analyzed the production and marketing of charcoal in Central Pokot Sub-County, and the challenges along the charcoal value chain. Data was collected from 100 households through interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire. Additionally, focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted to compliment information from individual interviews. The results revealed over 10 categories of actors who were directly and indirectly involved in the charcoal production and trade. These included, producers, bulking agents, transporters, retailers, wholesalers, and law enforcers (police and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) guards). Charcoal production was done mainly using traditional kilns. The dominant actors in charcoal trade were found to be bulking agents. Charcoal prices varied widely from USD4 per 100kg of charcoal at the point of production to USD20 per 50kg bag in urban centers. The higher prices at the urban centers were partly attributed to extra costs associated with illegal fees paid to the law enforcers at road blocks during transportation. Additionally, female and youth headed households were found to be more likely to engage in charcoal production than households with male and older heads. Households with limited livelihood sources were more likely to produce charcoal than those with multiple alternatives. Charcoal theft by other producers or travelers at the bulking centers, respiratory diseases associated with inhalation of smoke during charcoal burning process and tediousness of the production process were found to be the main challenges faced along the value chain. In sum, this thesis recommends the need to formalize charcoal trade to ensure: standardization of prices and minimize exploitation of producers by middle traders and corrupt law enforcers. Furthermore, there is need to enhance entrepreneurial skills of women and the youth on alternative business opportunities other than charcoal production. Keywords: Practices, charcoal production, charcoal trade, actors, alternative livelihoods.
University of Nairobi
SubjectAnalysis of Charcoal Value
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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