Determinants of Rural Households’ Decision Making to Forgo Income for Bequeathed Woodlot in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
Forests are an important economic good in providing dependable products by rural households such as fuel wood, food supply, natural insurance and as habitat for pollinators; however, unchecked household characteristics that abet exploitation and/or unsustainable consumption of forest products expose livelihoods of rural households who are forest resource dependants to be at perilous state. Therefore, this study sought to examine demographic and socio economics determinants that influences rural households decision making to forgo income for conservation through bequeathed tree planting in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. Systematic random sampling technique was applied in selecting samples whereby a total of 234 structured questionnaires were administered to rural household’s heads for interview. Results from regression analysis showed that rural households with existing woodlot in their farms and family size were negative and significant at (-2.501, p< 0.05) and (-1.857, p< 0.1) respectively, which suggests to influence the desire for rural households not to forgo income for bequeathed woodlot in their farm, while constructs of dependency level on forest products by rural homes 1.720, p< 0.1, the costs of establishing woodlot at 0.992, p< 0.001 and agro-ecological condition of land at 1.784, p< 0.1, which were positive and statistically significant were likely to influence rural homes to engage in tree planting as insurance venture for the future generation of which $234.19 was the likely annual premium. In conclusion, the critical determinants that influence rural homes’ decision making to forego income for bequeathed woodlot informs policy makers, scholars and resource managers on rural households’ characteristics needed while formulating strategies and policies needed for up-scaling forests land cover to mitigate climate change effect. However, the positive and statistically significant of stochastic variable from OLS model, which explains variables that were omitted and/or were beyond the scope of this study and remained unobserved, showed influence on rural household decision making to forgo income for conservation stewardship; hence, creating knowledge gap for further investigation.
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