Contribution of Non-Timber Forest Products to Rural Household Income in Zambia

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) play an important role in supporting rural livelihoods and food security in Zambia. NTFP-dependent households are poorer, have younger household heads with lower levels of education, and are located closer to district towns than other rural households are. NTFPs are a particularly important source of income in Luapula, Northwestern and Western provinces. • Income from woodfuel represented the greatest share of income for households that participated in NTFPs, and it was the most commonly reported business activity, with 68% of NTFP households reporting income from charcoal and firewood. NTFPs contribute an average of 32% to total household income among participants, with the poorest being more dependent on these sources. • Given the widespread demand for woodfuel and other forest products, it is likely that rural households will continue to engage in the extraction and trade of NTFPs as a business activity. However, charcoal production, if left unchecked, could compromise the integrity of forests and adversely affect the availability of other NTFPs. In order to reduce households’ reliance on charcoal/firewood as an income source, outreach efforts could promote other NTFPs such as wild honey, ants, and mushrooms as business activities. Mushrooms, ants, and caterpillars may particularly be important activities for female-headed households, as more female-headed households derived income from these sources.

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Policy Synthesis

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-26

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