Fuelwood demand and supply in Rwanda and the role of agroforestry

J.D. Ndayambaje, G.M.J. Mohren

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Fuelwood in Rwanda is assumed to come from forests and woodlands, thus contributing to large-scale deforestation. Available studies on fuelwood demand and supply support this assumption and indicate a continuously rising demand of fuelwood, notably from forest plantations. These assertions are insufficiently substantiated as existing forest stock may not be depleted by rapid increase in demand for food and energy resources resulting from population growth, but rather from the need for agricultural land. Evidence suggests that the demands for fuelwood, in addition to other sources of energy, is supplied from agroforestry systems which has not been quantified so far. This review analyses sources and use of fuelwood in Rwanda, indicating the importance of on-farms trees and woodlots in fuelwood supply. It is concluded that the effect of fuelwood consumption on land use is difficult to disentangle as many other factors including land clearing for agriculture, livestock farming, human settlements, illegal cutting of valuable timber species, the demand for charcoal in towns and past conflicts, contributed significantly to the high rate of deforestation in the country. If fuelwood demand is to be met on a sustainable basis, more fuelwood has to be produced on agricultural lands and in forest plantations through species site matching and proper management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-320
JournalAgroforestry Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • improved fallows
  • eastern zambia
  • highland region
  • africa
  • deforestation
  • consumption
  • shrubs
  • energy
  • maize
  • kenya


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