Directorate Of Research
And Development-kp (R&d)

History: Research & Development Directorate started work from 1st February 2002 and established an independent office at Peshawar. The Sericulture wing of Forest Department was also afterward merged with it. Later on, the Sericulture wing was converted as full fledge NTFP Directorate during 2007.


  • Impact Assessment of Natural Resources and its transmission for Poverty Alleviation, Sustainable Natural Resource Management and its optimum utilization for the Development of Communities.
  • To facilitate positive change in the Department, disseminate valuable field Knowledge & Information.


Title of the Study

Fuelwood Per Capita as well as Total Household Consumption in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

 Brief Introduction

Research and Development Directorate was assigned to conduct a comprehensive survey regarding “Fuelwood Per Capita as well as Total Household Consumption in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa” with the financial allocation of Rs. 0.5 million from the Billion Trees Tsunami Afforestation Project. The Directorate carried out the survey during the period of six (06) months i.e., from January 2015 to June 2015 throughout the Province encompassing both the winter as well as summer seasons in practical means. The major limitation in the study was time period followed by resources. The study is highly prestigious in nature and will be helpful to the planners and policy makers for future developmental programs because it is the only survey of its kind in the Province conducted with complete devotion and professionalism.

Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study was to assess and analyze fuelwood consumption per capita in addition to total household consumption in the entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Under this specified objective, the terms of reference identified the following:

  • Estimate the total household fuelwood consumption at Regional and Provincial levels.
  • Assess the per capita fuelwood consumption in the Province.
  • Assess the quantum of regional consumption and their sources of energy.
  • Determine the percent contribution of fuelwood in total energy needs at regional as well as provincial level.
  • Observe the pressure on the preferred fuelwood species in each region and its impact on ecosystem.
  • Gain an understanding of how fuelwood collection and consumption by local communities impacts the forests.
  • Establish broad database for planners and researchers.
  • Gaining insight of the situation and its gravity.
  • Assess the impact of fuelwood collection, purchase and utilization on socio-economic conditions.

Conclusions of the Study

The study is concluded with the following broad findings:

  1. The average household size as per the study data is 8.04 persons per household in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
  2. Most of the families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are ‘joint’ in nature.
  3. Two third of the households have ‘Pakka’ or cemented houses.
  4. About two third of the households have open kitchens while the remaining all could not be called as modern ones. Only urban areas have somewhat trends of developed kitchens.
  5. The major source of livelihood is business and government service while forests serves mostly as household everyday kitchen commodity.
  6. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 77.43% of the total population is directly relying on the fuelwood and other biomasses while the remaining 23.57% on gas and allied sources as household replacement of fuelwood and other biomasses.
  7. Of the total population using biomass; about 45% rely on fuelwood while the remaining 65% over other biomasses.
  8. The average household consumes about 7kg of fuelwood per day while at the same time about 8.5 kg of other biomasses per day.
  9. Overall, about 80% of the population using fuelwood is engaged in the process of collection while the remaining 20% rely over the purchased fuelwood from market or dwellers.
  10. The average household consumes 2575 kg of fuelwood and 3082 kg of other biomasses per year.
  11. Per capita consumption of fuelwood and other biomasses is 314 and 384 kg per year, respectively.
  12. On seasonal basis, an average household consumes 512 kg of fuelwood per month during winter season compared to 362 kg per month during summer.
  13. The total Khyber Pakhtunkhwa household consumption for 2014-15 is estimated to be 15.532 million m3 fuelwood and 22.056 million m3
  14. The total Khyber Pakhtunkhwa household consumption for the projected year 2019-20 would be 17.416 million m3 fuelwood and 24.716 million m3
  15. During 2014-15, over 60% of the total fuelwood consumed is supplied from agricultural source followed by 32.23% contributed by forests. The remaining share of 7.67% is sourced from rangelands and wastelands.
  16. It is clear that fuel ladder can’t be formalized in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as even richest in some areas totally rely over fuelwood and other biomasses for as a source of energy for everyday activities.
  17. There is a huge gap of production and consumption and the gap although has been mainly filled through farmlands, yet, the pressure on forests is enormous due to already meager cover and growing stock.
  18. Fuelwood collection and use is the main cause of natural resource depletion, including forests.
  19. If the current rate of deforestation for fuelwood continues, forests of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will likely to be vanished upto the mid of this century.


The meager vegetation cover with continuous fuelwood harvesting makes the situation very grave and therefore, needs immediate attention for rectifying measures. As in the past two decades either due to the non-availability or unaffordability of the alternate energy sources, the demand of fuelwood as energy source has increased manifold causing the depletion of the meager forest resource. The situation has enhanced the miseries of the people who are already suffering from fuelwood shortages. It is a matter of great concern that everyone is suffering but no one feels it.

To overcome the situation the following rectifying measures are recommended for paying greater attention and immediate actions:

  • To ensure the availability of cheap alternate energy resource i.e., oil, gas, electricity, solar and wind energy.
  • To focus seriously on the production of bio-energy by launching heavy afforestation projects like Billion Trees Tsunami Afforestation Project. This project is just a start of a very good beginning toward minimizing gravity of the situation but it needs regular continuity in the future on sustainable basis. Because only its first phase of 4-5 years will be not enough to improve or even to restore the condition of already depleted natural resources.
  • Almost every year, enough forest area is damaged for fuelwood collection, legal and illegal logging. For its recovery and further improvement each year on regular basis in future at least 15000 ha area should be planted up along with free distribution of 50 million plants for farm forestry and social forestry amongst the masses for increasing woody vegetation on forest lands and waste lands.
  • The existing forests have been depleted extremely and cannot afford further commercial harvesting. Therefore, all amnesty policy and dry/windfall policy should be banned completely and scientific management may be restored only for meeting fuelwood and domestic needs of the communities. Furthermore, all types of commercial harvesting needs to be stopped.
  • Improvised energy saving tools and techniques should be used i.e., efficient stoves, cholas and using fuelwood in the form of chips, splits and pellets.
  • In the cropping pattern of each area, the crops having more capacity of bio-mass production should be included i.e., orchards, Janthar, sunflower, safflower and maize crop.
  • To ensure better protection of the existing forests by avoiding forests from fire and grazing in regeneration areas and completely banning the fuelwood use of endangered species.
  • To strengthen and facilitate the forest department so as to achieve the heavy targets successfully.
  • To persuade the people to collect fuelwood from potential area and to avoid disturbances in low density forests.
  • To start urban forestry by planting on their roads, develop green belts and planting in schools, colleges, university, grounds, public places, house-yards and offices and waste portions inside and outside of the city.
  • The local grazers, nomads, users and illegal occupants should be prevented from fuelwood collection for commercial purpose.
  • The wood use in brick kilns needs to be banned.
  • More emphasis should be given on farm and social forestry. For this purpose fast growing multiple purpose species, fuelwood potential species and sustainable species which have the capacity to give more numbers of coppicing for early harvest should be encouraged.
  • Private nursery growers should be encouraged to start the production of forestry plants.
  • In species combination of each plantation, more emphasis be given to the species preferred for fuelwood use in order to lessen the pressure coupled with the increase in area under vegetation.
  • Mass awareness campaign is required to educate the people on proper wood collection methods and its efficient use methods. Carry out training activities for policy makers and stakeholders on wood and energy planning and execution of periodic wood energy surveys.
  • Proper demarcation is required to retrieve the forest area encroached upon by public for house construction and agriculture purposes.
  • For the assessment of wood use in other sectors beside household like its commercial and industrial use; enough time and budget would be required to carry out the survey in order to find the total fuelwood consumption in all sectors of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

If these recommendations were acted upon, it will prove to be vital to rid the fuelwood crisis and will also cater the energy needs fully without continuous degradation of the existing vegetation/forests.