A STUDY ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF NON TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS TO RURAL HOUSEHOLD INC…
1.1 Background of Study
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.