The choice of domestic cooking energy in rural Nigeria is an issue for addressing deforestation and health hazards resulting from indoor air pollution. The study compared the demand for different cooking energy sources before and after implementation of kerosene subsidy and determined the correlates of choosing fuel wood/charcoal. The data were collected with structured questionnaires administered to 120 respondents that were selected randomly. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and Seemingly Unrelated Bivariate Probit (SUBP) regression. The results revealed that the proportion of households that depended on kerosene increased from 49.2% before the subsidy to 60.83% after the subsidy. Also 16.67 and 14.17% of the respondents collected firewood before and after the subsidy, respectively. Furthermore 6.67% of the respondents indicated that kerosene was scarce after the subsidy, as against 41.67% that indicated same before subsidy. The SUBP regression results revealed that using fuel wood/charcoal as cooking fuel before subsidy significantly reduced the probability of choosing fuel wood/charcoal after subsidy (p<0.05). As the price of kerosene increased, the probability of using fuel wood/charcoal significantly decreased (p<0.01). It was concluded that subsidy on kerosene portends a very high likelihood of leading to reduction in deforestation and indoor air pollution due to less usage of fuel wood/charcoal.
Key words: Fuel wood, charcoal, kerosene subsidy, seemingly unrelated bivariate probit (SUBP).
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