A Study On The Contribution Of Non Timber Forest Products To Rural Household Income

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE

A Study On The Contribution Of Non Timber Forest Products To Rural Household Income


Abstract


This study was carried out on the contribution of non timber forest products to rural household income using residents in Abor town Delta State as case study. To achieve this 4 research questions were formulated. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of the indigenous residents and farmers in Abor Delta State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 67 respondents while 50 respondents were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and percentage. The result of the findings reveals that; 1non timber forest products has supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities, Fuelwood, Medicinal Herbs, Fodder For Livestock, Honey, Gum Arabic, Fruit Nuts, Timber Off Cuts, Canes, Bamboos, Rattans, and Poles are all non timber forest products that has supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities, non timber forest products been used in a high extent by rural communities for domestic and income purpose, and the exploitation of non timber forest products has reduced poverty rate among residents in rural communities. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended that the Government should prioritize technical and financial support programs that would promote off-farm income generating activities such as value addition for agricultural produce, handcraft etc. In the long-run, diversification into formal sector employment, coupled with education and skill development, is recommended. This will help reduce household over-reliance on NTFPs for livelihoods and income generation. In addition, interventions aimed at conserving the forest should consider both in-situ and ex-situ conservation of the most utilized plants and trees used for medicines in order to relieve pressure on the wild stock. Provision of biogas and kerosene as alternative fuelwood and charcoal is recommended so as to reduce household over-reliance on the forest wood plant.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

Forests provide products for different uses at households and industrial levels (Appiah 2009). These products are grouped into timber and non-timber products (NTFPs). Although timber products are highly valued worldwide, the NTFPs which play an important role in sustaining livelihoods of communities living around forest areas. Although NTFPsmay not be the most important income generating products for local people living close to the forests, they contribute significantly to household income, food security, and household healthcare as well asprovision of multiple social and cultural values (Ojea et al. 2016; Endamana et al. 2016). In spite of these roles, a major challenge persists in the accurate evaluation of NTFPs as a revenue component for the livelihoods of indigenous people (Ngalim 2011). Furthermore, the importance of NTFPs in household income is not well known due to the absence of a systematic and rigorous data collection system at national level in many developing countries (FAO 2012).
The role of NTFPs varies from one place to another depending on the economic and cultural contexts. In developed countries, for instance, NTFPs are usually used for cultural and recreational purposes, biodiversity conservation, and rural economic development. In developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia, they are mostly utilized for subsistence and income generation (Cocksedge 2006; Endamana et al. 2016). In the developing nations, NTFPs are therefore considered a safety net that fills the gaps due to a shortfall in agricultural production or other forms of emergencies (Shackleton and Shackleton 2004; Paumgarten 2005; Angelsen et al. 2014). As indicated by Agrawal et al. (2013), the NTFPs-based activities, if prioritized by the government and other stakeholders can be used to enhance the economic and social wellbeing of communities living in and around forestlands.

Economic estimates of approximately USD 90 billion per annum have been set for NTFPs worldwide, and approximately one-third of the same is consumed in the local economy without entering the market (Pimentel et al. 1997; Mahapatra and Tewari 2005). Most importantly, the NTFPs contribution to rural households’ income is significant in many countries globally. For example, Shackleton et al. (2007) concluded that the shares of households’ income from NTFPs revenue are sometimes equal to or more than the school teachers’ minimum wages in Central and West Africa. They further reported that the NTFPs traders from the Democratic Republic of Congo earned between USD 16 and 160 per week while producers earned about 50–75% of that amount per week.
Previous workers have observed that rural households in Nigeria derived up to 80% of their incomes from the sales of NTFPs (Jimoh et al. 2013). In addition, Ogunsawa and Ajala (2002) and Zaku et al. (2013) reported that over 70% of the country’s households depend directly on fuelwood as their main sources of energy, with daily consumption estimated at 27.5 million kg/day. Thus, harvesting and processing of NTFPs in many areas in the country have shifted from subsistence exploitation and sales at the local markets to international cross-boundary trade. For example, in the high forest zones of Eastern and Western Nigeria, harvesting of game meat and snails for sales are now major income generating activities almost all year round (Onuche 2011). While in the Savannah zone of Central and Northern Nigeria, honey, fuelwood, locust bean seeds, gum arabic, and charcoal production generate lots of incomes for the rural households (Jimoh and Haruna 2007; Jimoh et al. 2013). Similar contributions of NTFPs to rural wellbeing have been reported in other African countries including Kenya and Tanzania (Campbell 1991; Schaafsma et al. 2014 and Mbuvi and Boon 2009).

The world is grappling with a myriad of problems, including deepening poverty situations in many countries; especially the forest-dependent communities. These communities are mostly located in remote areas where most of the services and provisions are limited. Consequently, these communities find themselves heavily reliant on the natural resources within their proximity oftentimes. Therefore, forest resources, particularly the non-timber forest products (NTFPs) have been established as an essential source of livelihood for the majority of forestdependent communities among others. This study aimed at assessing the contribution of non timber forest products to rural household income.


1.2 Statement of Problem

For some time now, the contribution of agriculture to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has reduced (Adegeye, 1996). This is not only caused as a result of shift from concentration on agriculture dependence to petroleum but also due to low return from farming. This is exacerbated by different factors such as capital limitation, limitation in land supply, old method of farming and infertile land.

Infertility of land can be as a result of several factors. But the major factors are land degradation and deforestation. This had prompted the government to formulate different policies to curtail the rate of forest and its resources depletion.

The policies have been for decade now, but recorded low result. This is because; those who dwell in the periphery of forest land have not been carried along in the policy formation. Forest policies have always tagged forest communities as indiscriminate user of forest, and therefore sought to protect forest from misuse (FAO, 2009). This signified that forest dwellers are not put into consideration during forest policies formulation. In as much as these people continue to be close to the forest any forest policy that does not consider the rural dwellers will continually hit the rock. The rural dwellers will continue depending on the forest and its resources for their livelihood (FAO, 2009).

The usage of (NTFPs) for domestic purposes and income generation is on the high side. Over 80 percent of Delta State populace who lives in rural areas and to little extent some persons who live in an Urban area of the state depend on (NTFPs) for domestic purpose (Akaeze, 2010). This is in addition to quantity used daily for other purposes. The problem of over usage of (NTFPs) such as fuel wood is attributed to the fact that:

Petroleum products are not readily available at all time, and it is still on a very high cost.

The rural populace see the use of fuel-wood as the most convenient, and they try to avoid the risk associated with the use of petroleum product for cooking and heating purposes.

The poverty level of the nation, hence most of the rural dwellers will continue to depend on forest product for their survival, (Agbogidi and Ofuoko, 2006).

An attempt to use hydro-electricity for domestic cooking and heating has been proved abortive. This can be attributed to risk associated with the use of hydro-electricity.

Since non timber forest products dependency will continually be on the high side. If proper measure is not taken to control this activity, the forest will disappeared one day. Forest is a reservoir of resources and as our forest disappears, our resources also disappeared.

If the indiscriminate exploitation of the forest resources continues, it will give rise to different problems. These problems are socio cultural and economic problems. These socio cultural problems are associated with socio cultural value of the people.

The economic problem, are problem that are concerned with income generated from forest resources by rural people and the type of farm practice.

These are the problems that the researcher aimed at addressing.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine the contribution of non timber forest products to rural household income. Specifically, the study aims at;

  1. Identify weather non timber forest products has supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities.
  2. Identify the non timber forest products which has supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities.
  3. Determine the extent to which non timber forest products are being used by rural communities for domestic and income purposes.
  4. Examine weather the exploitation of non timber forest products has reduced poverty rate among residents in rural communities.

1.4 Research Question

  1. Has non timber forest products supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities?
  2. What are the non timber forest products that has supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities?
  3. To what extent has non timber forest products been used by rural communities for domestic and income purposes?
  4. Has the exploitation of non timber forest products reduced poverty rate among residents in rural communities?

1.5 Significance of the Study

An alternative to timber production with a potential revenue generation would be seen as welcome news to reverse the negative impact of its over-exploitation on the environment. This alternative is seen in NTFP which is in abundance and untapped in large quantities. Large volumes of NTFPs abounds in the country’s forests which includes: fuelwood, timber off cuts, canes, bamboos, rattans, poles etc. With the controlled and sustainable exploitation of these NTFPs in commercial quantities, more revenue is expected to be generated to augment the reduced revenue from timber and help in poverty reduction in the rural areas as well as create the needed jobs. As such the results of the study is expected to provide ample evidence to forest managers and the government as to the need to re-orient and focus their attention to the numerous wastesin the forests which could otherwise be turned into the much needed revenue and provide jobs.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is focused only on identifying weather non timber forest products has supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities, determining the extent to which non timber forest products are being used by rural communities for domestic and income purposes and examining weather the exploitation of non timber forest products has reduced poverty rate among residents in rural communities. Hence the study is delimited to Aboh town, Delta State.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

The study limitation was distance and its attendant cost of travel in order to obtain information to write this study. Another limitation to the study is short time factor which did not give time for thorough research work, hence gathering adequate information becomes very difficult.

Finally, lack of materials on the topic. This is new in the area of non timber forest products income in Nigeria.

Therefore, the researcher resolved to seek friendly approach in order to obtain the needed materials or information from the right sources.


1.8 Outline of Study

The study work has been structured into five (5) chapters.

  • Chapter one highlights the background of the Study, statement of the problem, purpose of study, significance of study, research questions, scope of study, limitation of study and the outline of study.
  • Chapter two constitutes the literature review capturing theoretical and statistical empirical literature on issues pertaining to the study.
  • Chapter three presents the methodology, showing details of the steps taken to conduct the study, research design, study area, population, sample and sampling procedure, instrument for data collection, method of data collection and how data analysis was done.
  • Chapter four analyses and discusses the results of the study.
  • The fifth chapter will entail the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the contribution of non timber forest products to rural household income using residents in Abor town Delta State as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the contribution of non timber forest products to rural household income using residents in Abor town Delta State as case study.The study is was specifically focused on investigating weather non timber forest products has supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities, identifying the non timber forest products which has supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities, determining the extent to which non timber forest products are being used by rural communities for domestic and income purposes and examining weather the exploitation of non timber forest products has reduced poverty rate among residents in rural communities.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are indigenous residents and farmers in Abor Delta State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, it is clear that the FGR supports households’ livelihoods through the provision of various NTFPs such as fuelwood, medicinal herbs, and fodder for livestock, honey, gum arabic, and fruit nuts for domestic use and sale for income generation. The NTFPs thus acts as a safety net, particularly when there is a shortfall in agricultural production, to minimize risk and also to fill the gap of food deficit in the study area. Based on the findings of the study, the following conclusions were made;

  1. Non timber forest products has supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities.
  2. Fuelwood, Medicinal Herbs, Fodder For Livestock, Honey, Gum Arabic, Fruit Nuts, Timber Off Cuts, Canes, Bamboos, Rattans, and Poles are all non timber forest products that has supported the livelihood of residents in rural communities.
  3. Non timber forest products been used in a high extent by rural communities for domestic and income purpose.
  4. The exploitation of non timber forest products has reduced poverty rate among residents in rural communities.

5.4 Recommendation

It is recommended that the Government should prioritize technical and financial support programs that would promote off-farm income generating activities such as value addition for agricultural produce, handcraft etc. In the long-run, diversification into formal sector employment, coupled with education and skill development, is recommended. This will help reduce household over-reliance on NTFPs for livelihoods and income generation. In addition, interventions aimed at conserving the forest should consider both in-situ and ex-situ conservation of the most utilized plants and trees used for medicines in order to relieve pressure on the wild stock. Provision of biogas and kerosene as alternative fuelwood and charcoal is recommended so as to reduce household over-reliance on the forest wood plant.


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