The underlying causes of land use change and degradation are defined by the needs of men and women. This article focuses on analyzing the elements that define who plays which role in land use and forest cover change; the net benefits that they derive from current land uses and who will participate and benefit from the change in land use policies and practices. A total of 178 households which were engaged with the two commodities namely simsim (Sesamum indicum) and charcoal were interviewed by using a structured questionnaire. All respondents agreed that unsustainable charcoal making contributes significantly to forest degradation. It was observed that most of trees which were felled to open new simsim farms were turned into charcoal. Simsim and charcoal production are practiced by rural poor communities with limited livelihood options. Both men and women involved in production value chain earned a profit. More youths are expected to be engaged in production due to high-profit margins of these two commodities.