Efficiency and competitiveness in developing country woodfuel markets: A case study of Tanzania

Jill Ann Boberg, University of Pennsylvania


The purpose of this study is to aid in the process of formulating effective new policies governing woodfuel and its effects on society and environment in the countries of Africa. It approaches the subject from the viewpoint of the desirability of sustainability--the sustainability of woodfuels as the major provider of energy to poor and rich households and commercial enterprises in Africa; the sustainability of the forests and other sources of supply for this fuel; and the sustainability and improvement of the living standards of the users of woodfuel. The research takes a case study of the woodfuel situation in Tanzania, focusing on the urban aspects of woodfuel use, and within that, on the market for the fuel and its effects on price. This research contributes both a solid set of data on Tanzania's woodfuel marketing system, and a systematic analysis of those data using a modified structure, conduct, performance paradigm to make a thorough investigation of the network through which woodfuels are moved from harvester delivery system operates in terms of efficiency and competitiveness, and that vertical integration seems to create inefficiencies in greater numbers than it relieves them. Also, independent producers, though somewhat less efficient than larger producers created in an integrated system, help to ensure the competitiveness of the system by working in their own interests. Fourth, supply pressure may be partly communicated through prices, but the inefficiency in the same markets seems to have a more significant effect on prices. System sustainability can be enhanced by a number of possible systematic changes and efficiency improvements, primarily the opening of forests to local control; the improved efficiency of the transportation of woodfuels; the creation of catchment areas; and the possibility of an adjustment of the fee structure for the harvest of woodfuels to reflect environmental externalities.

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Recommended Citation

Boberg, Jill Ann, "Efficiency and competitiveness in developing country woodfuel markets: A case study of Tanzania" (1994). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9427505.