Contribution of Tanzania Southern highlands forest diversity to household income and food supplements;The case of Mufindi district in Tanzania

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SCIENCEDOMAIN international


Understanding the role played by forest diversity to supply non-timber forest products for income and food supplements of households is important in forest management and human life. This study was conducted to investigate the role played by non-timber forest products and their implications on income and food supplements in Mufindi District in Tanzania. Methodology: A cross section field survey research methodology was used in this study. Six representative villages in three wards; Rugemba, Igowole and Sadan located within 30 Km to forestreserves were selected. Interviews were conducted to 180 respondents from the three wards. One focus group from each village was conducted while District agricultural officers and village leaders formed a key informant’s category. Quantitative data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science Software and Microsoft excel while memos were produced from qualitative data and used to narrate discussion. Taxonomic plants classification was carried out at Sokoine University of Agriculture botanic laboratory. Results: It was found that non-timber forest products are mostly consumed directly by the people who collect them as a useful dietary supplement, especially when food is scarce. To a lesser extent, they are also sold for cash, but the market for them is badly organized in terms of poor transport and lack of storage facilities, so they are not an important source of income except for people who live near important roads. It was discovered that deforestation and climate change are reducing the potential supply of these products. Conclusions: Given the importance of the sustainable exploitation of non-timber forest products as an incentive for forest conservation, the market for non-timber forest products should be rationalized and expanded. Improvement of the use and role of wild foods should be planned and implemented within a larger scheme of sustainable forest management.



Non-timber forest products, Southern highlands, Forest biodiversity, Wild food plants, Food supplements