The role of non-timber forest products in poverty reduction in India: Prospects and problems

   TwitCount

ICIMOD staff members Golam Rasul and Madhav Karki, in collaboration with Ram Sah, have published an article on ‘The role of non-timber forest products in poverty reduction in India: Prospects and problems’ in Development of Practice (2008) 18(6): 779-788  (The article is accessible for registered users of the Online Access to Research in the Environment: http://www.developmentinpractice.org)

The vast natural resources of India's forests, including non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as medicinal and aromatic plants, leaves, fruits, seeds, resins, gums, bamboos, and canes, offer employment that provides up to half the income of about 25 per cent of the country's rural labour force. However, poor harvesting practices and over-exploitation in the face of increasing market demand are threatening the sustainability of these resources, and thus the livelihoods of millions of forest-dependent tribal communities. This article, based on a desk top review of the available information, analyses the role of non-timber forest products in livelihoods-improvement programmes and activities and considers recent initiatives taken up by the government and other agencies intended to enhance their conservation through  sustainable management. It recommends policies to optimise the potential of NTFPs, both to support rural livelihoods and to contribute to India's social, economic, and environmental well-being.