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The economic importance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for livelihood maintenance of rural west African communities: A case study from northern Benin

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  • Heubach, Katja
  • Wittig, Rüdiger
  • Nuppenau, Ernst-August
  • Hahn, Karen

Abstract

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) contribute significantly to a rural household's livelihood in the African semi-arid tropics. This study examines the income from NTFPs and the dependency on these of different socio-economic groups in Northern Benin. Using survey data from 230 households of two villages, we firstly compared incomes of five different ethnic groups being differentiated by their traditional source of livelihood and regional provenance. Secondly, we investigated disparities between three income groups. On average, income from NTFPs accounted for 39% of total household income and had a strong equalizing effect on it. However, the economic relevance of NTFPs differs between households: Poorer households are relatively more dependent on NTFPs in order to fulfill basic needs than wealthier households. However, the latter extract more NTFPs in quantitative terms and have significantly higher cash returns than poorer ones. This is mainly due to a significant greater land holding. Moreover, our study revealed that net income from NTFPs reflects traditional sources of livelihoods of different ethnic groups. In conclusion, both conservation and development strategies should take into consideration the socio-economic context of different beneficiaries of savanna woodland resources in order to apply appropriate measures to poverty reduction.

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  • Heubach, Katja & Wittig, Rüdiger & Nuppenau, Ernst-August & Hahn, Karen, 2011. "The economic importance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for livelihood maintenance of rural west African communities: A case study from northern Benin," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1991-2001, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:11:p:1991-2001
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    Cited by:

    1. Baiyegunhi, L.J.S. & Oppong, B.B., 2016. "Commercialisation of mopane worm (Imbrasia belina) in rural households in Limpopo Province, South Africa," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 141-148.
    2. Cotta, Jamie N., 2015. "Contributions of local floodplain resources to livelihoods and household income in the Peruvian Amazon," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 35-46.
    3. Kaoma, Humphrey & Shackleton, Charlie M., 2015. "The direct-use value of urban tree non-timber forest products to household income in poorer suburbs in South African towns," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 104-112.
    4. Nguyen, Trung Thanh & Do, Truong Lam & Bühler, Dorothee & Hartje, Rebecca & Grote, Ulrike, 2015. "Rural livelihoods and environmental resource dependence in Cambodia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 282-295.
    5. Charlery, Lindy & Walelign, Solomon Zena, 2015. "Assessing environmental dependence using asset and income measures: Evidence from Nepal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 40-48.
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    7. Dokken, Therese & Angelsen, Arild, 2015. "Forest reliance across poverty groups in Tanzania," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 203-211.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2290-:d:122309 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Alcade C. Segnon & Enoch G. Achigan-Dako & Orou G. Gaoue & Adam Ahanchédé, 2015. "Farmer’s Knowledge and Perception of Diversified Farming Systems in Sub-Humid and Semi-Arid Areas in Benin," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(6), pages 1-20, May.
    10. repec:eee:forpol:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:199-209 is not listed on IDEAS
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    12. Mohammad Abdullah, Abu Nasar & Stacey, Natasha & Garnett, Stephen T. & Myers, Bronwyn, 2016. "Economic dependence on mangrove forest resources for livelihoods in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 15-24.
    13. Antoci, Angelo & Russu, Paolo & Ticci, Elisa, 2012. "Environmental externalities and immiserizing structural changes in an economy with heterogeneous agents," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 80-91.

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