Contribution of non-timber forest products to rural household economy and conservation: a case of Rural Mufindi District, Iringa Region -Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study was conducted to assess the contribution of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) to rural household economy and conservation in rural Mufindi District, Tanzania. The contribution of NTFPs to rural communities in other areas including Mufindi district in Iringa region has not been fully explored. The study was undertaken in three purposively selected villages namely Mtili, Nyololo njia panda, and Kasanga. The study specifically aimed at identifying i) the most preferred NTFPs by the households in study area, ii) economic activities which provide more income to the households members, iii) market chain and conservation practises from the prioritized NTFPs, iv) challenges associated with NTFPs business and conservation efforts in the study area. A sample size of 5% of households' respondents was randomly selected. Moreover, household questionnaires, key informant interviews and direct field observations techniques were generated. Data were analyzed using Descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings have shown the differences of the market trends between NTFPs (firewood, wildfruits, wild vegetables, mushroom, honey, fodder, ropes, bamboo, Local brooms (cunnighamamiana spp), and the agricultural products. Result disclose that, most rural households (86.7%) engaged in agriculture activities, it was observed the activity to be more on market despite its price fluctuation (Tzs 80,000/= to 35,000/= market price per maize sack) due to seasonality. While the NTFPs were sold as supplement in the market. Furthermore, the results entails that there was statistical significance (p<0.01) of NTFPs contribution in the study areas over the period between NTFPs collection and socio-economic variables including gender and household size, age, level of education, marital status, occupation and duration in years of staying in the area. For instance, females were the most collectors, married with a number of dependents and were the ones engaged much on NTFPs business than males in the study areas. Despite the importance of NTFPs, the respondents indicated challenges that constrain the successful of NTFPs commercialization. Challenges mentioned include: securing a sustainable resource supply, accessing market information, developing ways of overcoming uneven power and barriers to market entry. The study recommends that the government should employ more forest officers and provide education on direct economic importance of NTFPs to improve rural household business environment.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF HD9750.T34M344)
Forest products (Economic), Non timber forest products, Households, Market, Mufindi districts, Tanzania
Mallya, V.A (2019) Contribution of non-timber forest products to rural household economy and conservation: a case of Rural Mufindi District, Iringa Region -Tanzania.Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.