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Prospect of Fuelwood Plantations for Marginal Small Tea Farmers:A Case Study in Matara and Badulla Districts, Sri Lanka
This study demonstrates the importance of conversion of tea farms in marginal land to fuelwood plantation by analyzing the current biophysical, economic and institutional pros and cons of each land uses for marginal small tea plantation holders (MSTH). The study is based on household survey and field investigation conducted in Matara and Badulla Districts of Sri Lanka. Both qualitative and quantitative data on important biophysical, economic and institutional factors was collected from a total of 81 MSTH, 50 from Matara and 31 from Badulla, and fuelwood consuming industries within 20 km of the study area. The result showed that MSTH are facing biophysical and economic problems that are forcing them to leave portion of their tea planation land uncultivated. With ongoing demand increase for fuelwood, presence of tree species already adaptable to the area and favorable property right condition, conversion of the existing marginal land to fuelwood plantation is a viable way to sustainably manage the MSTH farmland. This will also contribute to tackle environmental disasters the area is frequently facing due to abandoning of the marginal tea plantation land.
Sustainable Land Use, Marginalization, Tea Industry, Fuelwood, Sri Lanka.
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