Deforestation and Agricultural Expansion in Mhonda area, Tanzania

  • Gerald Claudius Monela
  • Birger Solberg
Part of the World Forests book series (WFSE, volume 2)


This paper analyzes the possibilities for sustainable land use management at farm level in order to preserve the tropical rainforest in the Nguru mountains in Tanzania. Based on data collected in Mhonda area, a compromise programming model at household farm level was developed and used to analyze deforestation as a consequence of population growth, working capital availability, crop prices, fertilizer costs and risk aversion of the farmers. The study showed that existing farming systems can sustain the present population growth rate of 3.7% per year for only a maximum duration of between 10 and 15 years. Forest encroachment for agriculture is one main agent of deforestation pressure. Declining crop productivity and income under risk conditions, and growing food demand due to population growth are key driving forces for encroachment. The existing farm activities can be improved to reduce deforestation pressure by resource re-allocation and risk management in the short term and introducing more appropriate farming technology in the long term. Improving household economy is also crucial to raise farmer’s income, and improve land use practices to reduce deforestation pressure.


Rainforest deforestation agriculture land use planning risks compromise programming 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Claudius Monela
    • 1
  • Birger Solberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forest Economics Faculty of Forestry and Nature ConservationSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  2. 2.Institute of ForestryAgricultural University NLHÅsNorway

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