Non Timber Forest Products Trade and Community Livelihoods around Mabira Central Forest Reserve, Uganda
Mugisha, Maud Kamatenesi
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This paper generates data on the diversi ty and value of non timber forest products (NTFP) traded in markets adjacent to Mabira Central forest reserve. The objective of the study was to evaluate the contribution of NTFP trade to the livelihoods of trader s’ households . Q uarterly market surveys and field observations were conducted in eleven markets in 2014 . All NTFP traders were interviewed using semi structured questionnaires . Simple profitability method was used to determine the profit margins of the traded products. The per capita value of NTFP traded was calculated and was highest for drums ($ 3,101) and lowest for winnowing trays ($3). All products had profit margins above 60%. Income generated from NTFP was used to cater for other essential needs like payment of school fees, medic al treatment, buying food and other household items. NTFP trade has potential of improving the lives of traders through establishment of NTFP enterprises. In order for such enterprises to be successful traded forest products must be harvested sustainably t o ensure consistent supply of the products. Multipurpose species like Markhamia lutea, Phoenix reclinata, Raphia farinefera and Calamus sp could be domesticated to minimize pressure on the forest.