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Thursday, 3 November 2016

Non Wood Forest Products in Poverty Alleviation and its Implication in Species Conservation in Emohua Local Government area, Rivers state, Nigeria

SL Larinde, AT Oladele, O Nwakaego


Non wood forest products (NWFPs) have been harvested by man for subsistence and trade in other to cope with poverty since time immemorial. However there is a dearth of information on its economic potential in alleviating poverty in Nigeria. This study examines the role of NWFPs in poverty alleviation in selected communities of Emohua Local Government area of River State, Nigeria. Three sets of well-structured questionnaires were administered in four selected communities to producers, marketers and consumers respectively. In all, a total number of 480 questionnaires were distributed. Information was obtained on the social status of the respondents, plants and animal species consumed, trade as well as marketing channels. Data obtained were subjected to descriptive analysis; economic evaluation was carried out using profitability and cost benefit analysis. The results showed that the most utilized NWFPs include Dacryodes edulis, Cola pachycarpa, Gongronema latifolia, Piper guineense. Women constitutes the vast majority of producers and marketers of NWFPs, 75.8% and 64.26% respectively, the youths in the age range of 15 to 35 years are the most active. The production and marketing of NWFPs is profitable with an average margin of N104, 114.75. Rate of return of investment (RORI) was 289.25% while the cost- benefit ratio was 3.8, the marketing channel reveals a two - way trade route, producers - consumers and producers – wholesalers — retailers – consumers. NWFP has the economic potential in alleviating poverty in the communities because it can sustain a family of 5 persons. The over-dependence of the rural community on NWFPs has a serious implication for conservation due to unsustainable exploitation practices. To reduce the rate of depletion of these NWFPs, it is recommended that rural communities should be encouraged and empowered to cultivate them by securing property rights on land which is the main impediment to farming.
Key words: Non wood forest products, poverty alleviation, conservation.

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