Contribution of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) to Livelihood of People in Mokwa Local Government Area, Niger State, Nigeria
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This study focused on the contribution of NTFPs species to the livelihood of Mokwa people, Niger state. It was undertaken to ascertain the proportion of humans involved in the exploitation of NTFPs in the study area, to determine the types of NTFPs exploited and their roles in the lives of the communities and to determine the actual contribution of NTFPs species to the livelihood of the Mokwa people. Data were collected using structured questionnaire and oral interviews to acquire information from sampled members of the Mokwa LGA communities. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics (tables, chart, and graphs). The findings from this study indicate that NTFPs are abundant in the study area and are found in all the forested land areas within the communities. NTFPs collection for utilization is usually carried out throughout the year. All the respondents in Ja’agi, Kudu, Kpaki, and Mokwa town collect and use the NTFPs in food preparation for the family and for other purposes. The number of households involved in the collection of NTFPs was highest in the Ja’agi community (95%), while only (28%) households were involved in Mokwa town. The chi-square test revealed that there were high significant differences (P>0.05) between the number of respondents involved in the collection and non-collection of NTFPs in Mokwa LGA. Twenty (20) plant by-products and fruits were the major types of NTFPs being collected. Most NTFPs species were of medicinal plants, while some supplement everyday meals. It should be noted that Mokwa LGA communities earn some money from the collection of NTFPs - especially from plants such as Vitellaria paradoxa (73%) Pakia biglobosa (16%), and Mangifera indica (4%). Lack of jobs in the government established institutions is the major problem facing the communities. It is, therefore, recommended that provision of jobs and business opportunities will help improve the living standard of the people and hence reduce their effect on the forest resources.
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