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This paper reports the findings of an investigation into the extent, underlying causes, and effects of biomass fuel shortages in four Bangladesh villages. Shortages are found everywhere, and are becoming more severe; but the problem is particularly pronounced in pert-urban locations. The landless have been affected much more seriously than other classes, and the implications for landless women are particularly unfavourable. This situation derives from the combined effects of unequal access to resources and rapidly increasing population within the rural areas. Increasing demand for biomass products from industrial and urban consumers has also played an important part. A number of possible solutions are explored. These include: increasing the supply of biomass fuels; improving the efficency with which they are converted; the introduction of substitutes; and the creation of additional sources of income for those most in need.


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