Characterization and Efficient Utilization of emerging Wood Fuel Species for Charcoal Production in the Savanna Transition Zone of Ghana

Project Team: Sparkler, B.S., Obiri, B.D., Derkyi, N.S.A., Dabo, J. and Adjei, R.

Background

Ninety percent (90%) of wood fuel supply in Ghana is derived directly from the natural forest. Over exploitation of traditional hard wood species such as Anogeissus leiocarpus (Kane), Milicia excelsa (Odum) and Khaya senegalensis (Mahogany) has resulted in scarcity of these species. Th is has led to charcoal producers switching to new soft wood species, which produce loads of charcoal dust, burns quickly, and generates charcoal of poor quality. In spite of this shi\Z in tree species used for charcoal production, there is virtually no empirical information on the emerging wood fuel species that are used for charcoal production.

Currently, there is no information on the energy characteristics of the emerging wood fuel species used for charcoal production. Moreover, the trend and magnitude of extraction of emerging species are not known thus the implications on sustainability of the resource cannot be been determined. This study is designed mainly to identify and characterize these wood fuel species and assess their availability, extent of extraction and utilization in the forest savanna transition zone of Ghana. The ultimate aim is to assist in suggesting further research and development interventions for ensuring sustainable utilization and management of wood fuel resources.