The challenges of adopting afforestation as an alternative and sustainable land use for economic development


  • Isaac Mhaka Chinhoyi University of Technology
  • Patrick, W Mamimine Chinhoyi University of Technology
  • Maria Tsvere Chinhoyi University of Technology


Afforestation, Sustainable land use, Ecosystem and economic development


Afforestation is an important aspect of silviculture whereas, globally its broad adoption as an alternative land use option for economic development is still a dream away.  Many countries across the globe have `bad land’ and `underutilised land’ which could be considered for afforestation as one land use option with great economic potential. Despite the growing significance of afforestation in the development discourse world-wide, its uptake by farmers as an economic activity of tremendous ecosystem value and services remains a peripheral consideration. Hence based on a critical qualitative content analysis of literature reviewed for a Doctor of Philosophy thesis, this paper explores the challenges behind the dispirited adoption of afforestation globally, as an alternative land use option for economic development. Results of the content analysis point to the economic value of afforestation not being fully exploited due to the farmers’ ignorance of the benefits of afforestation, anachronistic cultural attitudes, institutional and capacity challenges, lack of education and training, aversion to long term investment, ignorance of existence of funding partners in afforestation, lack of adequate extension services, insecure land tenure arrangements for forest land and wildlife menace.  Out of these challenges, a close analysis point to primarily three challenges being of critical importance to deal with in order for humanity to trigger a world-wide adoption of afforestation as an alternative land use for economic development. These are security of tenure on forest land, access to extension services and access to capital.