ABSTRACT: United Nations estimates indicate that up to 70% of the world’s poor are female, and women in developing countries constitute
the majority of the labour force, playing a key role in managing community resources and helping to improve food security
and protect the environment. Increased attention in recent years has been focused on the potential role of non-timber forest
products (NTFPs) in improving the incomes and health of women in developing countries. NTFPs farming and marketing are very
critical for the economic empowerment of rural poor, particularly women. Despite this potential, the contribution of NTFPs
farming to the empowerment of women remains largely undervalued and understudied. This paper examines the potential contribution
of NTFPs farming in poverty reduction and livelihood improvement of women in Ghana using the Sefwi Wiawso District (SWD) and
Bibiani-Bekwai District (BBD) in the Western Region of Ghana as a case study. The paper explores the contribution of NTFPs
farming to the total annual income, acquisition of assets, health, and food security of women through participatory research
methods. ANOVA and Pearson Correlation (p<0.05) show that a significant association exists between total annual income of women, acquisition of assets, health, food
security, and the income earned from NTFPs in the SWD and BBD. The study revealed that NTFPs can contribute significantly
to the economic empowerment of women. The paper asserts that commercialisation of NTFPs will have a greater impact on women’s
livelihoods and therefore any opportunity for increasing their involvement is very essential for the empowerment and sustainable
development of rural communities in Ghana.
KeywordsEconomic empowerment–Employment–Food security–Income–Non-timber forest products–Poverty reduction
Environment Development and Sustainability 05/2012; 13(5):863-878.
08/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-633-1
ABSTRACT: Nutrition and health are fundamental pillars of human development across the entire life-span. The potential role of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in improving nutrition and health and reduction of poverty has been recognized in recent years. NTFPs continue to be an important source of household food security, nutrition, and health. Despite their significant contribution to food security, nutrition, and sustainable livelihoods, these tend to be overlooked by policy-makers. NTFPs have not been accorded adequate attention in development planning and in nutrition-improvement programmes in Ghana. Using exploratory and participatory research methods, this study identified the potentials of NTFPs in improving nutrition and food security in the country. Data collected from the survey were analyzed using the SPSS software (version 16.0). Pearson's correlation (p < 0.05) showed that a significant association exists between NTFPs and household food security, nutrition, and income among the populations of Bibiani-Bekwai and Sefwi Wiawso districts in the western region of Ghana. NTFPs contributed significantly to nutrition and health of the poor in the two districts, especially during the lean seasons. The results of the survey also indicated that 90% of the sampled population used plant medicine to cure various ailments, including malaria, typhoid, fever, diarrhoea, arthritis, rheumatism, and snake-bite. However, a number of factors, including policy vacuum, increased overharvesting of NTFPs, destruction of natural habitats, bushfires, poor farming practices, population growth, and market demand, are hindering the use and development of NTFPs in Ghana. The study also provides relevant information that policy-makers and development actors require for improving nutrition and health in Ghana.
Journal of Health Population and Nutrition 04/2011; 29(2):141-8. · 0.95 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) farming is emerging globally as an important tool for establishing sustainable forest communities and supporting forest-based livelihoods. NTFPs are of great importance to millions of people whose livelihoods largely depend on them. Increasingly, forest policies of many countries are being revised to reflect the potential of NTFPs in achieving rural development and poverty alleviation. In Ghana, various forest policies have been formulated and implemented for developing a national forest estate and timber industry. However, most of the forest policies have failed to address the role of NTFPs in achieving poverty reduction in the country. Forest policies continue to remain a major hurdle to the growth and development of NTFP in Ghana.Through an exhaustive literature review, interviews conducted on various forest development stakeholders, forestry experts and forest dependent communities, this paper uses sustainability frameworks to critically evaluate Ghana's forestry policies and their impacts on NTFPs utilisation and management in Ghana. The 1994 Forest and Wildlife Policy (FWP-94) and its implementation process from 1995 to 2008 were analyzed with regard to the development of NTFPs and a number of challenges facing this sub-sector identified. The results revealed that the lack of definite policy on NTFPs has impacted negatively on their promotion and development in the country. Until recently, most of the policy initiatives were aimed at forest conservation and timber production; the livelihood opportunities of NTFPs for local communities were ignored. The paper also urges government of Ghana to effectively place development and promotion of NTFPs farming as core element of the country's forestry policy-making process and national development agenda.
J Biodiversity. 01/2010; 1:85-102.
ABSTRACT: Though a significant volume of information has been documented on the importance and potential of NTFPs' utilisation and its impacts on poverty reduction, livelihoods improvement and environmental sustainability, a lot of confusion is still associated with NTFPs semantics and terminologies. NTFPs have proved to be difficult to clearly define because of the blurred boundaries between timber and non-timber products and the underlying difficulty in defining a forest. The overabundance of terminologies relating to a single term having a range of interpretations, and none of which is universally recognised is at the heart of the NTFPs semantic confusion. Consequently, the meaning of "NTFPs" has generated a lot of controversy. In other words, there is no universally accepted operational definition of NTFPs. Various definitions proposed in literature tend to expound on specific species, aspects and products according to different authors' focal interests. The increasing realisation of the importance of all forest resources makes the dichotomisation of forest resources into "timber" and "non-timber" overly simplistic. The lack of a common definition, terminologies as well as the multiplicity of interest, constitutes a real hindrance to research on and development of NTFPs. Through an extensive and critical review of literature and consultations with experts, this paper examines the semantics and the difficulties in defining NTFPs, the ensuing confusion and the consequences for research, and development and promotion of these products.