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Abstract

An understanding of the nature and extent of households' dependence on NTFPs can facilitate the policy decisions for development and welfare of tribals vis-a-vis conservation and management of forest wealth. The present study provides some insight regarding the forest dependence of Jenukurubas, a sect of primitive tribe, living in and around the protected forests of Heggada Devanakote region in South India. The analysis of socio-economic characteristics of households using Logit regression shows that wage employment, land ownership and income from agriculture lowered the probability that a household would go for NTFPs collection. Joint family system and large family size would increase the probability of collection of NTFPs by tribal households. The study also establishes the fact that, it is primarily out of sheer necessity, the tribals venture for NTFPs collection and not for their commercial gains. The extent of dependence on NTFPs was very strong and its sudden withdrawal would severely affect the livelihood of the stakeholders, particularly, the landless tribals. Therefore, successful rehabilitation requires phased withdrawal of NTFPs by providing alternative sources of income and employment opportunities.

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