Socio-economic predictors of dependence on Non-timber forest products: lessons from Mabira Central Forest Reserve Communities
Kakudidi, Esezah K
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Resource user surveys were conducted in 14 villages of Mabira central forest reserve. The study was intended to assess factors that encourage dependency on non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Understanding NTFP dependence is instrumental in guiding plans of forest use. The study was based on the hypothesis that forest income is more important to poor than wealthier households. Stratified random sampling was used to select NTFP users in different use categories per village. Information on household income of NTFP users was obtained using semi structured questionnaires and relative NTFP income was calculated. Binary logistic regression was used to analyse factors that influence NTFP dependence. 277 respondents used and sold a variety of products including; charcoal, firewood, fodder, construction materials, secondary products of NTFPs, medicinal and wild edible plants. Relative NTFP income was highest (53%) for poor households. 56% of households surveyed were dependent on NTFPs. Age, other income, household head, wealth quintile and distance from the forest significantly affected NTFP dependence. The high dependence on NTFPs is critical in development of management strategies that enhance conservation of the forest by focusing on women and the poor to avoid negative impact on their wellbeing.