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Non-Timber Forest Products and Livelihood Promotion

(Vol. 14, No. 1, January-March, 2016) ISSN 0973 – 8444
Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) Supporting Food Security in Tribal Jharkhand
M.A. Islam* & S.M.S. Quli**
*Faculty of Forestry, Sher-e Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Benhama, Ganderbal – 191201 (J & K), India.
**Faculty of Forestry, Birsa Agricultural University, Kanke, Ranchi – 834006 (Jharkhand), India.
 
Abstract: This study seeks to document the diversity, distribution, and pattern of utilization of edible non-timber forest products (NTFPs) among the tribes of Bundu block in Ranchi district of Jharkhand, India. The results reveal that the sample population consumes 59 edible NTFPs belonging to 39 genera and 45 species under 29 families. Of the edible NTFPs, fruit represents the highest (26) followed by leaf (10), seed (7), flower (6), tuber (3), gum (2), mushroom (2), entire plant (2) and rhizome (1). The growth form of the species includes trees (30) followed by herbs (5), shrubs (4), climbers (3), fungi (2) and bamboo (1). Edible NTFPs constitute the main source of diet, nutrition, economy and health of the people, however, the availability of edible NTFPs is on the decline while population and market pressures are growing, agricultural development is slow, and economic growth is likely to bypass rural areas. With these trends, many rural families will likely continue to face food insecurity. To keep the safety-net function of forest foods available for them as a coping strategy, it is vital that forest management be linked to rural development and food security strategies.
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