In the Indian household, lines of hierarchy and authority are clearly drawn, and ideals of conduct help maintain family harmony. The eldest male acts as family head, and his wife supervises her daughters-in-law, among whom the youngest has the least authority. Reciprocally, those in authority accept responsibility for meeting the needs of other family members. Family loyalty is a deeply held ideal, and family unity is emphasized, especially in distinction to those outside the kinship circle.
Inside the household, ties between spouses and between parents and their own children are de-emphasized to enhance a wider sense of family harmony. For example, open displays of affection between husbands and wives are considered highly improper. Traditionally, males have controlled key family resources, such as land or businesses, especially in high-status groups.
Following traditional Hindu law, women did not inherit real estate and were thus beholden to their male kin who controlled land and buildings. Under Muslim customary law, women can—and do—inherit real estate, but their shares have typically been smaller than those of males. Modern legislation allows all Indian women to inherit real estate. Traditionally, for those families who could afford it, women have controlled some wealth in the form of precious jewelry. In much of northern and central India, particularly in rural areas, Hindu and Muslim women follow complex rules of veiling the body and avoidance of public appearance, especially before relatives linked by marriage and before strange men.
Purdah practices are linked to patterns of authority and harmony within the family. Hindu and Muslim purdah observances differ in certain key ways, but female modesty and decorum as well as concepts of family honor and prestige are essential to the various forms of purdah. Purdah restrictions are generally stronger for women of conservative high-status families. Sequestered women should conceal their bodies and even their faces with modest clothing and veils before certain categories of people, avoid extramarital relations, and move about in public only with a male escort.
Poor and low-status women often practice attenuated versions of veiling as they work in the fields and on construction gangs. Hindu women of conservative families veil their faces and remain silent in the presence of older male in-laws, both at home and in the community. A young daughter-in-law even veils from her mother-inlaw.
These practices emphasize respect relationships, limit unapproved encounters, and enhance family lines of authority. For Muslims, veiling is especially stressed outside the home, where a conservative woman may wear an all-enveloping black burka. Such purdah shelters women—-and the sexual inviolability of the family-— from unrelated unknown men. In south India, purdah has been little practiced, except in certain minority groups. In northern and central India today, purdah practices are diminishing, and among urbanites and even the rural elite, they are rapidly vanishing.
Chastity and female modesty are still highly valued, but as education and employment opportunities for women increase, veiling has all but disappeared in progressive circles. The birth of an infant is celebrated with rites of welcome and blessing, typically much more elaborate for a boy than for a girl. Although India boasts many eminent women and was once led by a powerful woman prime minister, Indira Gandhi, and while goddesses are extensively worshiped in Hindu rituals, statistics reveal that girls are, in fact, disadvantaged in India.
The Census counted only females per males, reflecting sex-selective abortion, poorer medical care and nutrition, and occasional infanticide targeting females. In recent decades, demands for dowries have become quite exorbitant in certain groups. Marriage is deemed essential for virtually everyone in India, marking the great watershed in life for the individual.
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For most of Hindu northern and central India, marriages are arranged within the caste between unrelated young people who may never have met. Among some south Indians communities and many Muslims, families seek to strengthen existing kin ties through marriages with cousins whenever possible. People use their existing social networks, and increasingly, matrimonial newspaper advertisements.
The advertisements usually announce religion, caste, educational qualifications, physical features, and earning capacity, and may hint at dowry size even though giving or accepting dowries is actually illegal. Among the highly educated, brides and grooms sometimes find each other in college or professional settings. So-called love marriages are becoming less scandalous than in previous years. Among Indian residents of North America, brides and grooms often meet through South Asian matrimonial websites.
Many self-arranged marriages link couples of different castes but similar socioeconomic status. Usually, a bride lives with her husband in his parental home, where she should accept the authority of his senior relatives, perform household duties, and produce children—especially sons—to enhance his family line. Ideally, she honors her husband, proudly wears the cosmetic adornments of a married woman, and cheerfully fulfills her new role.
If she is fortunate, her husband will treat her with consideration, treasure her contributions to his household, and allow her continuing contact with her natal relatives. For many young wives, this is a difficult transition. Death causes the restructuring of any family. Widows of low-status groups have always been allowed to remarry, but widows of high rank have been expected to remain chaste until death.
Social inequality exists throughout the world, but perhaps nowhere has inequality been so elaborately constructed as in the Indian institution of caste. Caste has existed for many centuries, but in the modern period it has been severely criticized and is undergoing significant change. Castes are ranked, named, endogamous in-marrying groups, membership in which is achieved by birth. There are thousands of castes and subcastes in India, involving hundreds of millions of people. These large kinship-based groups are fundamental to South Asian social structure. Caste membership provides a sense of belonging to a recognized group from whom support can be expected in a variety of situations.
The word caste derives from the Portuguese casta, meaning species, race, or kind. Among Indian terms sometimes translated as caste are varna, jati, jat, biradri, and samaj. Varna, or color, actually refers to four large categories that include numerous castes. The other terms refer to castes and subdivisions of castes often called subcastes. Many castes are associated with traditional occupations, such as priests, potters, barbers, carpenters, leatherworkers, butchers, and launderers.
Members of higher-ranking castes tend to be more prosperous than members of lower-ranking castes, who often endure poverty and social disadvantage. In past decades, Dalits in certain areas had to display extreme deference to high-status people and were barred from most temples and wells.
Such degrading discrimination was outlawed under legislation passed during British rule and was repudiated by preindependence reform movements led by Mahatma Gandhi and Bhimrao Ramji B. Ambedkar, a Dalit leader. After independence in , Dr. However, Dalits as a group still suffer significant disadvantages, especially in rural areas.
Within castes, explicit standards are maintained. Rules of marriage, diet, dress, occupation, and other behaviors are enforced, often by a caste council panchayat. Infringements can be punished by fines and temporary or permanent outcasting. Individuals and caste groups can hope to rise slowly on the hierarchy through economic success and adoption of high-caste behaviors. However, it is virtually impossible for an individual to raise his own status by falsely claiming to belong to a higher caste; a deception of this kind is easily discovered.
In rural areas, many low-caste people still suffer from landlessness, unemployment, and discriminatory practices. In the growing cities, however, caste affiliations are often unknown to casual associates, and traditional restrictions on intercaste interactions are fading fast. In some urbane circles, intercaste marriages linking mates of similar class status have become acceptable. Correlations between caste and occupations are declining rapidly.
In recent years, key changes have occurred in caste observances. Even as traditional hierarchies weaken, caste identities are being reinforced, especially among disadvantaged groups with rights to special educational benefits and substantial quotas reserved for them of electoral offices and government jobs. Most Indians reside in villages, where caste and class affiliations overlap. Large landholders are overwhelmingly upper caste, and smallscale farmers middle caste, while landless laborers typically belong to the lowest-ranking castes. These groups tend to form a three-level class system of stratification in rural areas, and members of the groups are drawing together within regions across caste lines in order to enhance their economic and political power.
For example, since the late s, some of the middle-ranking cultivating castes of northern India, spurred by competition with higher-caste landed elites, have cooperated politically in order to advance their common economic interests. When looking at India as a whole, defining classes is a difficult task, rife with vague standards. According to various estimates, the upper classes include about one percent of the population, or some ten million people, encompassing wealthy property owners, industrialists, former royalty, top executives, and prosperous entrepreneurs.
Slightly below them are the many millions of the upper middle class. This group includes prosperous farmers, white-collar workers, business and professional people, military personnel, and a multitude of others, all enjoying decent homes, reasonable incomes, and educated and healthy children. Most own televisions and telephones, and many possess cars and computers. Large numbers have close ties with prosperous relatives living abroad. Most villages have fewer than 1, inhabitants, but some have as many as 5, people.
Indian villages are often quite complex and are not isolated socially or economically. Most villages include a multiplicity of economic, caste, kinship, occupational, and even religious groups linked vertically within each settlement. Residents typically range from priests and cultivators to merchants, artisans, and laborers. Various crucial horizontal linkages connect each village with many others and with urban areas both near and far.
In daily life and at colorful festivals and rituals, members of various groups provide essential goods and services for one another. Traditionally, villages often recognized a headman and a panchayat, a council composed of important local men. Usually, disputes were adjudicated within the village, with infrequent recourse to the police or courts.
Today, the government supports an elective panchayat and headman system, which is distinct from the traditional system, and, in many cases, mandates the inclusion of members who are women or very low caste. According to a schedule rotating every few years, the head of the council of a certain percentage of villages must be a woman or a Dalit.
State and federal government regulations increasingly intrude into village life, diminishing traditional systems of authority. Further, dissent and competitiveness seem to have increased in many parts of rural India as a result of the expanding involvement of villagers with the wider world via travel, work, education, and television, and increased pressure on land and resources as village populations grow. The acceleration of urbanization is profoundly affecting the transformation of Indian society.
Mumbai Bombay is currently the sixth largest urban area in the world at 18 million, and Kolkata Calcutta ranks fourteenth at 13 million. The largest cities are densely populated, congested, noisy, polluted, and deficient in clean water, electricity, sanitation, and decent housing. Slums abound, often cheek-by-jowl with luxury apartment buildings, with the roads overrun with pedestrians, cattle, refuse, and vehicles spewing diesel fumes.
Traditional caste hierarchies are weak in cities, but caste ties remain important, as scarce jobs are often obtained through caste fellows, relatives, and friends. Ingenuity and tenacity characterize poor urban workers supporting themselves through a multitude of tasks as entrepreneurs, petty traders, and menial laborers. The ranks of the growing middle class are increasingly evident in cities, where educational and employment opportunities benefit them.
For them, as for all in the city, linkages are affirmed through neighborhood solidarity, voluntary associations, and festival celebrations. Cities, of course, are the great hubs of commerce, education, science, politics, and government, upon which the functioning of the nation depends. These bring vivid depictions of urban lifestyles to small-town dwellers and villagers all over the country, affecting the aspirations of millions.
Largely led by educated urban women, the movement seeks gender justice on a wide variety of issues, focusing particularly on the escalating issue of dowry-related murders of young wives, which number in the thousands annually. In ten years, the most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, expanded more than 25 percent to some million, equal to 60 percent of the population of the United States. India supports a population more than three and a half times the size of the American population in an area about one-third the size. While new agricultural crops and techniques are expanding productivity, forests, rangeland, and water tables are diminishing.
As competition grows, political, social, ecological, and economic issues are hotly contested. Justice in matters pertaining to class, gender, and access to desirable resources remains an elusive goal. India is but one of many nations facing these crucial problems and is not alone in seeking solutions. For many centuries, the people of India have shown strength in creating manageable order from complexity, bringing together widely disparate groups in structured efforts to benefit the wider society, encouraging harmony among people with divergent interests, knowing that close relatives and friends can rely upon each other, allocating different tasks to those with different skills, and striving to do what is morally right in the eyes of the divine and the community.
These are some of the great strengths upon which Indian society can rely as it seeks to meet the challenges of the future. Bumiller, Elisabeth. New York: Fawcett Columbine, Das Gupta, Monica, and Li Shuzhuo. Available from mdasgupta worldbank. Dubey, Suman. Leonard A. Gordon and Philip Oldenburg. Dugger, Celia W. Fuller, C. Caste Today. Delhi: Oxford University Press, Gould, Harold A. Ishwaran , 1: India: Culture and Society. Yogendra K. It also requires capital for some aspects of the exploitation process and therefore attracts the interest of entrepreneurs who have already been successful in other business enterprises.
Many of the charcoal burners and the small dealers, whether rural or urban, are drawn from the poorest sections of the population. In West Africa, women in particular have been found to act as retailers or as purchasers from farmers supplying very small quantities of wood at a time. There are, however, also the larger dealers capable of organizing the trading system, the producers and transport on a large scale. Trading structures are likely to exhibit considerable variations and need to be understood wherever rural energy development is to be subject to planning policy or technological innovation.
Very large numbers of poor people have become traders in wood fuel, either full or part-time, particularly in wood fuel for domestic purposes. Others are employed as labourers and charcoal burners or in the transport of wood fuels, so that in many countries wood fuel production and distribution is a major employer and a most important source of income.
Such work is particularly valuable whenever the growing reason for farm crops is short and there is little alternative off-season employment. It is valuable also for the landless and especially for women who have few opportunities of earning an income of their own. Sometimes, however, the labourers and petty traders in fuelwood are despised as engaging in a poor person's industry, whilst charcoal burners in some countries are despised for being in a dirty activity, Wherever, a shortage of wood fuels develops as demand rises and supply fails to respond or is even reduced, rising prices encourage a greater interest in the trade, attracting richer and more powerful traders who may seek to control the market.
Government-supported schemes to develop large scale wood plantations and centralized state controlled distribution systems ignore the existence of the great mass of petty traders and labourers and may even contribute to making large numbers of poor people poorer. Research into commercial organization and urban demand shares many of the techniques and methodology developed in social science as a whole and discussed elsewhere in this publication. It also has its own special characteristics and Problems due in part to the existence of the small group of wealthier traders, usually highly organized, and having a strong financial interest in the fuelwood and charcoal industry.
In addition the urban environment for research has a very different character from the rural environment, usually with a wider ranging class and income structure and special difficulties in sampling and ensuring an adequate response to energy surveys. In certain cities it can be an extremely hostile environment in which to attempt a social survey.
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The choice of satisfactory locations for research has to meet the demands of a number of very practical social and political considerations. Towns and development 2. Urbanization refers to the transformation of an area from a rural character with small settlements and mainly extensive economic activities, such as agriculture and forestry, to an urban character, that is having high densities of population associated with centralized economic activities, more especially administration, commerce, services and manufacture.
Urbanization includes urban growth. Its chief indicator is normally taken to be the proportion of population living in urban areas. It has become a world-wide phenomenon associated with economic and social transformation from the industrial and power revolution in Europe in the early 19th century to the spread of industrial growth, agricultural change and commerce throughout the world, more especially in developing countries since the early s.
There are marked regional differences. Only Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador fail to exhibit primacy, and Brazil and Ecuador are each dominated by two cities. In tropical Africa there are few cities of any great size although primacy is a common feature - Nigeria is an outstanding exceptions in southern Asia there are some of the world's largest cities, but the urban population is low in such huge population totals, India alone has nearly a third of the developing countries' population, excluding the centrally planned economies.
It is more especially associated with the growth of manufacturing industry, the development of administrative functions, education and services of all kinds, and with the centralization of most economic and social activity. The towns are, in consequence, the leading consumers of fossil fuel energy, electricity and imported energy. They also consume large quantities of energy from renewable sources in rural areas. As the problems and costs of using imported energy increases, so the importance of the rural hinterlands in the supply of energy grows. In some cases urban demand for rural energy has tended to outstrip rural supply so that the latter has become a constraint in development.
Opinion has become divided between on the one hand recognition of the need for industrial growth and the kinds of services that can most easily be supplied in urban concentrations, and on the other hand realization of widening income, social and political gaps between town and country, accompanied by urban diseconomies of overcrowding, water shortage, air pollution and traffic congestion, together with social evils associated chiefly with slums.
The assocation of urbanization and "modernization" has been regarded as an association with foreign influence and values. The evacuation of Phnom Penh in the Khmer Republic was an attempt to destroy a "colonial" regional system in order to create a society less subject to foreign influences. Urbanization has assumed a variety of forms in the Third World and differences in the views of research workers in part reflect differences in regional experience. Urban growth brings with it not only a concentration of energy demand, but a considerable increase in the kinds of energy required. The demands of modern industry, urban residence, transport and service functions must be served by forms of power generation and fuel supply which have been developed elsewhere to satisfy these needs, in particular by electricity and gas for industry, and gasoline and diesel oil for transport.
So few attempts have been made to develop alternative forms of energy for these purposes, that in many countries, the price of urban growth is a huge dependence on imported energy and therefore on the development of export industries, or the export of raw materials to earn the foreign exchange required. Without the development of local energy resources urbanization has encouraged dependence on international trade and export productivity for energy supply, i.
The technology which can convert rural renewable energy materials into forms suitable for urban consumption, which can substitute for imported energy, has hardly been developed at an economic level, although sugar or manioc based alcohol is being produced in some countries e. Brazil and attempts are being made by pyrolysis to produce gas or liquid fuels from wood.
In consequence the main role in urban development of wood fuel from the rural hinterland, and even occasionally of agricultural residues, is to supply the needs of people who cannot afford "modern" fuels or who lack the capital for the equipment needed to use it. They have become an essential part of the informal sector of urban economic activity, satisfying the needs of mall entrepreneurs and a low income domestic sector. Rural renewable energy in the urban, market has so far acted less as a substitute for other forms of energy, with the exception to some extent of kerosene, and more as a supplier of an additional distinctive demand.
Fuel and power studies must take into account not only the city as a set of energy consumers, but the city as a political, social and economic unit. Cities have other needs besides energy, and in developing countries have limited resources in relation to development policy. They also have a set of functions which help to determine that policy and their economic growth, and which give them their distinctive character.
The social system may cocoon the government official from rural contacts and from awareness of rural problems. Urban pressure groups can exert considerable influence on government, although there are exceptions where a pro-rural elite exists in government or where there is a powerful rural mass movement. In some countries the urban bias in decision-making is reinforced by the existence of extensive government investment in manufacture and commerce or in wholly nationalized undertakings alongside a largely private agricultural sector.
Within the city public local administration is often extremely fragmented. In capital cities it is frequently divided between national and local government in ways which make the creation of an integrated planning policy difficult. The city is a market for rural goods, including fuel, and an importer of fuel and power from other regions or other countries.
Amongst other exchanges it deals with the movement of consumer and capital goods to its complementary rural region and the return flow of primary and processed materials. It is a source of investment capital, a centre for the supply and repair of farm tools and the supply of fertilizers and seeds.
It is a local transport nexus. It is in part the product of commercial agricultural production and in part a stimulus to agricultural development through the influence Of its markets and services, It is a market for rural fuel through the demand of its poor people and the activities of part of its service population. At the same time it affects fuelwood production by the influence it exerts on agricultural methods and organization. Outside the larger urban contras it is difficult to find qualified management or particular skills. Only the larger centres have an adequate power and fuel bass, water supply, transport and commercial facilities for the larger firms.
Much modern industry is the product of overseas investment, or of overseas management and technology. Parent companies often prefer location near to a suitable port and airport and may find difficulty with communication outside the capital city. The major cities attract office development and frequently provide trading or industrial estates with adequate services and even factory "shells".
Much of the large scale industry is basic, i. A large part of the non-basic industry, supplying mainly local needs, is informal, small-scale, unregistered or unlicensed, using premises built for other purposes or functioning in the open. It frequently uses charcoal or fuelwood and is highly productive, although measures of its productivity are usually poor or non-existent. There are good indications in urban energy studies of a relationship between income group or social status and fuel and power preference, In many cities social groups in part exhibit distinct geographical distribution, that is the cities have sectors or zones dominated in whole or large part by particular groups, They also frequently have mixed sectors and broad zones of overlap in between.
Where social survey work has already been completed it is possible to organize stratified sampling in a way which can take advantage of this geographical distribution. Some indications of social or income distribution may be obtained from maps or aerial photographs, since there are also associations with buildings density, size and type, and even in some cases with road plans. A core or inner ring of older buildings, often affected by multi-occupance and including some recent development may be expected. Cities mostly grow outwards, and unless there has been a great deal of urban renewal or unless extensive old outer suburbs have been absorbed by the expansion, there should be some progression outwards from older to newer housing with, in some cases, some association with age-groups and family size.
Extensive peripheral informal or so-called squatter settlements associated with houses built by their occupants and of very varying character may be expected in most cities in developing countries. Such settlements may also appear on sites long overdue for redevelopment and close to the urban centre. Many informal settlements house middle income groups with larger houses of fair quality, often preferred to the ready-made tenement slums otherwise available.
There are, however, problems in making the distinction in that cities are foci of social life for both urban and rural communities and centres for the provision of rural services. Many people move regularly between town and country for both social and economic activities and many families have members living in both environments. It would be false to assume that "modernization" belongs only to the city or that limited and apparently unsophisticated forms of energy use are necessarily traditional.
The supposed homogeneity of either urban or rural society is not borne out by most detailed research. Both societies tend to be heterogeneous and both exhibit modern and traditional elements, Frequently migration to the city has been the product not of urban development causing attraction, but of rural social and economic change causing push.
The geographical concept of urban field, hinterland or complementary region defined as an area of flow of goods, information, services and people between it and a central place, has proved useful In studies of the relation of town and country. The urban field is not necessarily the exclusive zone of a particular central place, although low order goods moving short distances, such as fuelwood and kerosene for domestic consumption, tend to reach customers from their nearest supply centre. Alongside the concept of urbanization we have the notion of "ruralization" or rural influences on urban environments.
These are, however, "influences"' rather than "transformations". Ruralization is not the reverse process to urbanization, but rather its complement. The effect of rapid immigration in populating parts of the city with recently arrived rural people has been cited. Connections with rural locations as "home", are often strongly maintained, together with membership of rural based societies. Many cities have considerable populations of farmers, often only part-timers, but in many cases earning as much or more from their farming as from their more urban occupations.
In the peripheral suburbs access to rural areas is easy and in consequence movements of people between town and country are frequent. Where wood is regarded as a common good or there is great pressure for fuelwood, a peripheral urban population can strip the immediately surrounding "peri-urban" rural area of most of its fuelwood resource. Where urban demands are heavy and resources are poor the decline in fuelwood supply leads to high prices and high rates of expenditure. Urban costs of living are frequently higher and may include extra costs such as commuting, higher housing costs, water supply and sanitation, but some of these extra costs are for benefits.
There are also extra rural costs for health, secondary education, journeys to market, doctors and places of entertainment. Higher income and standards of living make the urban areas attractive to rural migrants, even with long periods of unemployment or under-employment before the desired urban job is obtained. Lack of job opportunities, low earning capacity in farm work "real rural incomes" are lower than most rural income estimates suggest, since these include the incomes of rural traders, money-lenders and the professional class and a limited social environment combined with poor living conditions are strong push factors.
These income differences are important factors in differences in fuel and power preference, and not just difference in access to fuels or differences in attitudes to modern technology and convenience. Frequently, surveys indicate that rural people would much prefer to cook with electricity, gas or kerosene rather than fuelwood, but either lack the income necessary or are simply unable to gain access to the preferred fuel.
Poverty tends to worsen as technological modernization increases social and economic disparities. Income inequalities are maintained by a structure of production and a political power system that is oriented towards the sectors of the economy most susceptible to technological modernization. Hence the importance of an intermediate technology to reduce some of the disparity, despite doubts about its role as a poor man's alternative.
It might be supposed that the effect of rising incomes in towns would be the substitution of centrally supplied "modern" fuels for wood and charcoal. Such centrally supplied fuels are more varied and in relation to the demands of higher income groups may exhibit higher income elasticities. Fernandez has suggested higher income elasticities for "commercial" than "non-commercial" fuels in urban areas, whilst in rural areas income elasticities for both were thought to be similar. They conclude that "we cannot really be sure of the relative rates of growth of 'commercial' and 'traditional' energy consumption within total household use in the future".
The labour resource is an important factor in fuelwood exploitation and charcoal production, and local employment levels in other occupations are therefore a factor in fuelwood and charcoal supply. Unemployment and under-employment levels in developing country cities have been claimed to be high, although frequently the data regarding employment levels are doubtful and too little attention is paid to employment in informal industry and services.
Often the urban unemployed must spend their time seeking work in the city and are unwilling to return to rural areas where there are so few adequately paid jobs. Near the city, villages tend to lose their young people to urban occupations in large numbers, so that labour for the development of fuelwood industries is often more available at some distance from the city. In some cases this may be a factor in planning the exploitation of forest resources. There is some evidence of return movements of labour from urban to rural areas, not just for social occasions, more especially where urban unemployment has reached extremely high levels.
Some urban unemployed take short-term rural jobs in order to support the cost of their search for work. Rural fuel production for commercial demand 3. The organization of rural fuel production to satisfy commercial demand has some similarity to the commercial organization of agricultural production. Producers are scattered at varying densities over a considerable area and their goods have to find their way to a centralized market.
Themes In Indian Society
As with agriculture there is a considerable subsistence sector and the relationship of commerce and subsistence is for many farmers an important element in production. In some regions there are few specialist wood fuel producers, but in others, more especially those where wood fuel has acquired a commercial value, wood fuel production and distribution is a major industry with many full-time employees and entrepreneurs.
Wood resources come variously from forest estates, woodlots, plantations, areas of woodland or forest held in common, and farmland, including farm fallows, crop land and pasture, and areas of tree crop production. For most farmers wood cutting and gathering are secondary activities often left to the women and children.
Often the wood fuel produced on their farms is simply the by-product of clearing land for cultivation. There are farmers, however, who derive a large part of their earnings from it. In India some social groups, such as the gypsies, live almost entirely on earnings from fuelwood gathering and production, whilst small dealers and producers in areas like Gujarat have increased their bargaining power by organizing themselves into co-operatives.
Ay noted in southern Nigeria that whereas in the past only the poorest people sold fuelwood, today there are farmers who make a good living from it and who use powered saws to increase their output. Full-time entrepreneurs may contract with farmers or estate holders to out wood on their land, using hired labour, or to convert such wood into charcoal. Split logs and charcoal are usually produced either by a hired labour force or by small independent entrepreneurs.
It may be guessed that well over ninety percent of fuel produced in rural areas consists of wood and charcoal, apart from areas with a high level of dependence on dung or crop residues. This paper will be concerned mainly with wood and charcoal dependent areas and with the factors concerned in the commercial production of their fuel. There are some exceptions, e. Kenya, where their sticks are bundled for sale, Wood may also be sold for fuel as wood chips or processed into a variety of other energy forms, including gas and liquid.
The timber industry is an important source of fuelwood from material otherwise wasted, not only at source, but in processing centres where wood is cut into planks or other shapes. Most species will burn, but vary considerably In their qualities as fuelwood or for ease in cutting and handling. Different species may have different prices. Drying out and avoidance of rot are also important features.
In survey work there are distinct problems in measuring quantities of fuelwood sold or consumed, as it is normally handled by the bundle or the larger stere and these have some variation in size and considerable variation in the amount of wood contained, even between bundles of similar volume, It is important to bear in mind that tropical forests and woodlands characteristically contain a very great variety of species, with considerable variation in density, burning properties and shape.
This variety can also occur in the fallow trees and useful trees of tropical farms. Much of the woodland supply, particularly to the towns, comes from farmland, including both wooded areas within croplands and old fruit, fibre and oil producing trees. It is estimated that in Sri Lanka, for example, over half the wood fuel comes from coconut and rubber plantations. For most fuelwood production very little capital is required. An axe or a machete are the only tools needed and where large trees must be cut they may be killed by ring girdling or burning at the base and left to dry out. Dead trees which await cutting may be seen as a widespread feature in tropical Africa and represent a form of fuelwood capital.
They may be counted for survey purposes on large scale aerial photographs, but there are dangers in attempting to use information of this kind. We do not know from aerial photographs whether the dead trees are intended for use as fuelwood and many trees are hidden under the living canopy. Moreover, we would also need to know the seasonal pattern of tree killing and cutting before we could interpret photographs taken on a particular day of the year.
In recent years capital expenditures have been increased as more trees have been purchased for split logs and as more sophisticated tools have been used, including chain saws and chemicals for killing. For many farmers fuelwood is still regarded as a free good. No price has to be paid and the tools used are those already in use on the farm. There are, however, rural landless people who possess no wood resources of their own and are dependent for wood fuel on what they are allowed to gather or out on farms, where they work as labourers or can obtain from a village communal resource.
Where wood shortages occur such people have great difficulty in obtaining fuel for cooking. Pew of them can afford to buy it, so they rarely affect the commercial supply except as a source of hired labour. For them increased wood production by the development of plantations, involving costs and commercialization, would not provide a solution for their fuel problems, except in so far as it reduced the demand in the commercial market for any village wood to which they had access.
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Fuelwood production is attractive to the pet-by entrepreneur who has very little capital, and to the farmer who wishes to become a part-time trader and to expand his earning capacity beyond the production possibilities offered by his farm. It may also be attractive to those entrepreneurs, including women, who have no farms. However, there can be little doubt that urban-based traders, better provided with capital, have realised the possibilities, more especially in the "industrial" trade in split logs which needs regular supply and a large scale spatial organization. It should not be forgotten also that national governments usually through a forestry department, and local authorities from urban to village levels, have frequently invested capital in fuelwood production, chiefly in the form of plantations.
Urban growth was understood as a factor in the creation of fuelwood shortage early in the century, and fuelwood plantations were developed in Africa and southern Asia. Smoke free, capable of controlled use in a small and cheap stove, and also capable of producing greater heat than wood, it is suitable for a wide variety of industrial and domestic uses and especially for use In an urban environment. It can also be used as a reducing agent in metallurgy and as an absorbent in filters.
In most developing countries it is the chief form in which wood fuel is used in towns, but in a few countries, such as Nigeria and Zimbabwe, fuelwood is preferred to charcoal, and cooking on open fires is widespread, even in the towns. Charcoal is also easily stored, takes up less space than wood for a given production of heat and does not deteriorate, It is more easily handled in transport and distribution and is less easily ignited so that it is safer to use than wood.
It can, however, produce fumes, even asphyxia in poorly ventilated rooms, and is also generally regarded as a dirty fuel with large quantities of dust. In many countries charcoal is replacing fuelwood for both domestic and minor industrial purposes, particularly in the towns. In part this is a product not just of its greater convenience as a fuel, but of commercial advantage, which in many cities makes charcoal somewhat cheaper than fuelwood for equivalent heat production. In subsistence fuel consumption there is very little tendency to change and most of the advantages lie with fuelwood as an apparently "free" good.
In commercial consumption costs of handling and distribution are as important factors in total cost as the costs of production. In southeast Asia and Cast Africa charcoal has become the chief fuel of the urban poor whilst fuelwood has remained dominant in rural areas. Distance to wood resource has acted differently between fuelwood and charcoal so that the more distant the resource and the greater the transport cost, the greater advantage of conversion to charcoal see Digernes and In most countries charcoal burning is still done in simple earth or pit kilns by small entrepreneurs, often operating individually or in very small groups and employing little if any capital.
Their methods are labour-intensive, can use large pieces of wood and are little affected by wood moisture content. The quality and quantity of charcoal produced is variable and by-products are lost, so that over-all efficiency is low. Brick, concrete or metal kilns give better control and a cleaner product, but require some capital investment.
Like earth and pit kilns they make possible a widespread, fairly mobile and small scale operator industry. Much higher levels of efficiency are possible with continous production kilns or retorts from which all gas and liquid by-products are recovered, and which achieve high yields with quality control.
They are capital-intensive, but use much less labour for a given output. Size and moisture content of wood need strict control and external energy sources are also required. Continous production kilns and retorts need large quantities of wood and are fixed, that is the wood has to be brought to theme Unless cheap transport is available, intensive local wood production is required, usually in the form of wood fuel plantations.
There are preferred species for charcoal production and a great deal of waste is often incurred in preparations Many tropical forests and woodlands have a great variety of species so that the density of wood production suitable for processing may be much less than it appears. Hence the advantage of particular environmental conditions which favour the concentration of a preferred species, as for example the estuarine concentration of mangroves which produce very suitable wood for charcoal manufacture. Plantations of one species clearly have a considerable advantage. Dried cattle dung is used in southern Asia and a few regions in tropical Africa, mainly in the villages, but occasionally as a commercial fuel even in towns.
Sorghum stalks are sold for cooking fuel in west Africa and a great variety of crop residues are used In the villages, including rice stems and hulls, groundnut hulls, twigs, leaves and the remains of fruit and nut picking and preparations Oil seed wastes are commonly used as fire-lighters.
Most of this material is used on a subsistence basis, but in such use it frequently releases an equivalent quantity of fuelwood for sale. Thus rural poverty encourages the "export" of the higher quality fuels. There are a number of other sources of fuel and power in rural areas including methane from animal dung and vegetable waste, alcohol from crop plants or biomass plant production systems, direct use of solar energy, wind, falling water, peat, minerals and the use of human and animal power. Some of these may become extremely important as substitutes for wood fuels or for other major sources of energy as new discoveries in technology change the preferences in and the balance of fuel use.
However, at present their commercial use and commercial potential are limited. In many commercial operations hired labour gangs are used, as in the cutting of wood fuel for industrial purposes in Brazil or in west Africa. Even where small operators cut on their own account, they must out for the cash they can earn as a return on the labour they expend, as compared with the earnings they could achieve in some other activity.
In the case of roundwood for domestic use, much of it is cut on farms by spare-time labour, including the labour not only of men but of women and children, normally regarded as free, i. In some cases fuelwood cutting and sale may provide a woman's perquisite, a small source of spare time cash. Labour is most available during the dry season when wood dries well and is usually easiest to out. With seasonal variation in both cutting suitability and labour availability there is seasonal variation in productivity and prices, of which the commercial wood fuel research worker must be aware.
Wet season prices can be very high and encourage the exploitation of poor quality or distant resources. Charcoal production is more specialized than fuelwood cutting and preparation and may be expected to attract some more permanent or at least longer term labour force. Even so difficulties in the rainy season are considerable and lead again to seasonality in production. A point of some importance is that although the drier savanna woodlands generally have a poorer wood resource in terms of productivity per hectare, they do have a long dry season offering long-term labour employment in wood fuel production.
The attraction of working in the industry to poor farm labourers with no alternative employment in the dry season should be considerable. With a concentrated urban demand for fuelwood and charcoal, and supposed high levels of urban unemployment and under-employment, it might be thought that urban labour was easily available for cutting and processing near the town. One may suspect that in some instances this is not the case, despite high levels of urban unemployment, as fuelwood cutting is a rural occupation and labour looking for work in the town may prefer not to return to rural areas.
At Ife in southern Nigeria immigrant Hausa from northern Nigeria are employed in tree cutting gangs, instead of local labour, and have to be transported to the work site. Moreover, where the unemployed are seeking urban jobs they may prefer to be on hand to take whatever may be offered as it is offered. They may even have some part-time informal occupation on a regular basis.
These constraints would not, of course, prevent those living in the peripheral suburbs from visiting neighbouring rural locations to out some wood on their own account. In some locations rural areas near to towns may be expected to exhibit high rates of emigration and to be occupied mainly by older people. Where this proves to be the case such areas will be affected by labour shortage and may need immigrant labour for wood fuel exploitation.
In other locations, however, long distance migration is an important factor in the urban labour supply, competing with local rural migrants for jobs, and reducing urban dependence on the surrounding hinterland. In some cases, particularly in Tropical Africa, the existence of use-right or usufructuary systems of land tenure may mean that land cannot be bought and sold as such and the question of land costs does not arises However, even in these cases some changes of tenure are taking place and, some trees, particularly valuable timber, fruit and fibre trees, may be owned even where they occur on land subject to common rights.
Ownership may take the form of owner-occupation where farming families may gather fuelwood on their own property, or on estates where various forms of renting or leasing farms may operate which may not always include an automatic right for farmers to take wood. Sometimes a distinction is made between wood fuel for the farming family and wood fuel for commercial purposes, the rights to which may be leased to specialized wood cutting or charcoal making firms. Much of the forested land is owned or controlled by governments, and various degrees of management are exercised through forest or agriculture departments or ministries.
Evidence of deforestation and fear of timber and fuelwood shortage has encouraged some governments at either national or regional level to increase their control of forest lands, including both ownership and increased supervision of private forest management. In some cases government has acquired land for state controlled wood fuel plantations.
However, not all cases of such intervention have proved effective and In several instances there has been a successful private response to fuelwood shortage by cultivating wood as a cash-crop, as in Ethiopia or India, or developing multi-purpose wood plantations as in Kenya where black wattle has been grown for both tannin and wood fuel, or Nigeria, where teak has been grown for wood fuel and timber.
Generally we may expect transport costs to have an effect on the location of commercial fuelwood production since fuelwood is a relatively low-value bulk goods Loading and unloading is often a very expensive element, but except in so far as labour costs may vary with location, in general terms it should not necessarily be a location differentiating factor.
Ferguson calculated the distance limits for fuelwood and pole production around the towns for northern Nigeria. Although his results are not universally applicable, they do give an idea of the kinds of cost which may be expected and their variation in relation to road quality and production systems. He was able to show, for example, that the combination in plantation systems of fuelwood with pole and timber production generally lowers fuelwood production costs and makes conveyance possible over greater distances than when fuelwood is produced alone.
In practice transport costs also vary considerably between operatives and may be affected by local regulations and subsidies. Much wood in Nigeria, and elsewhere, is known to move as a "make-weight" or "fill-up" load on lorries, and travel as a driver's perquisite, which he may sell on his own account at destination, that is lorries carrying food, commercial crops or even passengers, may carry wood as an additional load in any remaining empty space.
In effect the transport cost of such wood may be nil, Wood and charcoal may also be carried by farmers or their family labour as head loads, bicycle loads or animal loads. Again such conveyance may be a spare time occupation, almost impossible to cost for the purpose of a fuelwood research project. Charcoal is usually much cheaper to transport than wood and is frequently carried for considerable distances - often in excess of km. The analysis of transport systems in order to understand their effectiveness for moving wood fuel usually involves dealing with a considerable complexity in freight rates, alternative systems, combinations of transport modes and trade-offs between the different kinds of good carried and the prospect of return loads, Specialist wood or charcoal producers, hiring their own transport to move fuel to urban markets, may find very little prospect of a return loads.
In Nigeria, however, the movement of fuelwood and food crops on donkeys to the city of Kano finds a return load in the urban night-soil which is used to fertilize the surrounding farms. Where a number of private lorry owners exist, they will frequently offer competing freight rates, subject to local and seasonal adjustment which make general freight rates for broad estimation extremely difficult to calculate. Often operating costs depend in part on government regulations designed to limit private transport operations for political purposes, to control it for safety reasons, or to protect a competing government owned system.
Railway freight rates in any one country frequently exhibit bewildering variety between goods carried, by locations or for varying distances. Over long distances railways are generally cheaper than lorries for the movement of bulk goods. Where wood fuel resources and their markets are both close to railway it can prove an efficient and cheap means of moving wood over considerable distances. River or lagoon transport can be even cheaper.
Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, is at the centre of a system of lagoons offering cheap water-borne access to mangroves cut for charcoal.
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Charcoal also moves overseas quite cheaply, particularly to markets close to port.