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Biomass fuels contribute to the largest share of the energy uses in Bangladesh. The present study determines the household biomass fuel consumption pattern in the rural areas of Titas Upazila under Comilla district in Bangladesh using the stratified random sampling technique through semi-structured questionnaires. Data were collected from 84 households under three household land categories – poor (land area <0.10 acre), middle (land area 0.10-0.25acre) and well-off household (land area >0.25 acre). Households were found to depend largely on biomass fuel including firewood, branches, leaves and twigs, bamboo, agricultural residue (rice husk, rice straw) and cow dung mainly for cooking. Firewood was the dominant biomass fuel for well-off and middle households (28% and 25%) and branches of the tree were dominant fuel for poor households (24%). More than 40% well-off households collect major amount of fuelwood from their own homestead forests while 32% middle and 37% poor households collect tree biomass from agricultural lands. Villagers preferred mostly Albizia procera, Mangifera indica, Cocos nucifera, Tamarindus indica as fuelwood tree species. Households across three categories (poor, middle, well-off) spend 19%, 12% and 11% of their total income for buying biomass fuels, respectively. All of the three households used a traditional wood-burning oven. Among them 39% well-off households and 18% middle households used LPG. Decreasing forest resources impose threats on the availability of biomass fuels. About 70% of households think that fuelwood was a scarce resource because of the degradation of homestead forest and fuelwood production unsustainability. Villagers suggested for alternative fuel items to decrease the pressure on biomass fuel energy sources. They also prescribed inclusion of fast-growing tree species into plantation program at the homestead level. Moreover, they demanded their involvement in this plantation program. The outcome of this study might be helpful to formulate policies to meet future challenges in fuel consumption and their sustainable utilization.
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