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Non-Timber Forest Products and Livelihood Promotion

(Vol. 14, No. 1, January-March, 2016) ISSN 0973 – 8444
Sustaining the Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) Based Rural Livelihoods of Tribals in Jharkhand: Issues and Challenges
Sanjay Kr. Verma* & Sujit Kr. Paul**
*Ph.D. Research Scholar, Vishwa Bharati, Shantiniketan (A Central University) and Chief Programme Coordinator, Department of Rural Management, Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS), Ranchi (Jharkhand), India.
**Associate Professor, Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension, Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Visva-Bharati (A Central University), Sriniketan, Birbhum, West Bengal.
 
Abstract: In much of Jharkhand, forests play a central role in economic, cultural and socio-political systems. The entire lives and livelihoods of many of the state’s people revolve around forests and forestry. Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) play an important role in supporting rural livelihoods and food security in Jharkhand. The present study tries to explore the spectrum of rural livelihood contributions of Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) through a sample of 50 respondents randomly selected from two villages in Bishunpur block, Gumla district. The main objective is to assess and analyse the contribution of NTFPs to rural livelihoods for both subsistence and commercial uses, and to identify factors influencing the level of engagement of households. The study is based on empirical fieldwork using both quantitative and qualitative data. A structured interview schedule was administered to the respondents. Comparing income and employment we find that all households collect NTFPs irrespective of their income contribution; but income contribution from crop cultivation is higher than that from NTFPs. To make NTFPs collection by tribals sustainable various issues and challenges need to be addressed.