Abstract

The contribution of income from nontimber forest products (NTFPs) to rural livelihoods and household income has received global recognition. However, there are growing concerns of overexploitation of NTFPs driven by poverty and policy neglect that threaten the sustainability of the NTFP resource base in Kassena-Nankana West District (KNWD) of Ghana. The study investigated the contribution of income from NTFPs to household income and socioeconomic factors that influence the collection and marketing of NTFPs in KNWD. Using a multistage sampling technique, quantitative data were collected from 375 households through structured survey questionnaires. Qualitative data were gathered through focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and field observations. Results showed that income from NTFPs forms a significant part of household income with a contribution of 32.69 percent to household income. Regression analysis revealed sex of respondent (P = 0.057), household size (P = 0.046), agricultural land size (P = 0.000), NTFP retailers (P = 0.000), NTFP wholesalers (P = 0.000), and value-added NTFPs (P = 0.000) as significantly and positively correlated with income from NTFPs. Results further indicated that poor households depend primarily on NTFPs in order to achieve their subsistence and income needs compared to high-income households. This research recommends that stakeholders and policymakers consider the needs of forest-dependent communities in policy analysis on NTFP conservation measures. Also, the role of households, especially the low income (poor), in the management of forest resources should be spelled out since they depend primarily on NTFPs to meet their subsistence and income needs.

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