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EVALUATION OF CONSUMPTION OF FOOD AND MEDCINAL PRODUCTS OF FORESTS

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EVALUATION OF CONSUMPTION OF FOOD AND MEDCINAL PRODUCTS OF FORESTS

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

  • Background of the study

Forests are major source of livelihood for many people particularly in developing countries, providing numerous benefits to human beings. These benefits may be direct (i.e provision of food and timber products) or indirect through their services and contributions to production process (i.e. protection of agricultural land), they may also be intangible (cultural values) (Popoola, 2002). Forestry sector is one of the main pivots on which the nation’s welfare is built. Thus it serves as resource base for many forest industries; providing one of the highest revenue and employment generating sectors. The importance of forest to mankind cannot be over emphasized. Abu and Adebisi (2002) stated that the traditional uses of forests are basically for income generation, environmental protection and socio-cultural values. Agbogidi and Eshegbeyi (2008) also maintained that forests play an important role in contributing to carbon sequestration and other global ecological services.

Forest reserves are portions of state lands under reservation where commercial harvesting of wood products is controlled in order to capture elements of biodiversity. They allow people to experience and understand how forest ecosystems function when timber and other wood products that are normally extracted for human use remain in place.  Agbogidi and Okonta (2003) stated that a large proportion of rural population Olujobi

earn their livelihood from the extraction and sales of forest products thereby improving the quality of life and standard of living of rural population living near forest lands.

Forest products encompass a wide range of natural resources. It consists of any useful material, substance and/or commodity obtained from a forest. This includes timber, game animals, nuts, seeds, berries, mushrooms, oils, foliage, medicinal plants, fuel wood, and forage (Chikamai et. al., 2009). Forest outputs are broadly classified into Timber and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs). NTFPs in particular, highlight forest products which are of value to local people and communities but have been overlooked in the wake of forest management priorities. In recent decades, interest has grown in the area of using non-timber forest products as alternatives or supplements to forest management practices. In some forest types, under the right political and social conditions, NTFPs have been managed to increase forest products diversity and, consequently increase biodiversity and potentially economic diversity (Diaw et. al., 2002). Timber components on the other hand have been widely acknowledged as great contributor to both national and local economies.

Millions of people throughout the world make extensive use of biological products from the wild (Koziell and Saunders 2001 and Lawes et. al., 2004). These items, commonly termed forest products are harvested for both subsistence and commercial use, either regularly, or as a fallback during times of need. They added to people’s livelihood security, especially for forest-dependent people (Cocks and Wiersum 2003). Collection, marketing and utilization of forest products create new opportunities for entrepreneurial development, and employment opportunities to the poor rural population. In Nigeria, forest resources are being depleted at alarming rate as people living in these forest communities and even beyond depend on it for a variety of goods and services. The strategic location of Ikere forest reserve between three towns makes it so important to the people as far as collection and utilization of forest products is concern. With the recent increase in population and demand for forest products (especially non-wood products) in these communities, there is pressure of exploitation on the forest reserve.

Therefore, with such a huge population and extensive dependence pattern, excessive exploitation and unsustainable harvesting regimes can potentially degrade the forest. To ensure the sustainable management of this forest: inventory of the various products harvested from the forest reserves, an evaluation of  the harvesting method for each product as well as the various uses and marketing approaches for these products are required. This will provide information to policy makers and development planners for posterity.

  • Statement of the problem

There may have been previous researches in this subject. This work gives further explanations and analysis in evaluation of consumption of food and medicinal products of forests

 

  • Objectives of the study
  1. To understand the impact of forests on consumption of food and medicinal products of forests
  2. To understand the relationship between cultivating forests and improved consumption of food and medicinal products of forests

 

  • Research questions
  1. What is the impact of forests on consumption of food and medicinal products of forests
  2. What is the relationship between cultivating forests and improved consumption of food and medicinal products of forests

 

 

  • Research hypothesis

H0: There is no relationship between cultivating forests and improved consumption of food and medicinal products of forests

H1: There is a relationship between cultivating forests and improved consumption of food and medicinal products of forests

 

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