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University for Development Studie UDS (Ghana) 2010

NON-WOODY FOREST PRODUCTS AND LIVELIHOODS IN NORTHERN GHANA

Yabepone, C.

Titre : NON-WOODY FOREST PRODUCTS AND LIVELIHOODS IN NORTHERN GHANA

Auteur : Yabepone, C.

Université de soutenance : University for Development Studie UDS (Ghana)

Grade : MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE IN DEVELOPMENT STUDIES. 2010

Résumé
The Savannah Ecosystems experiences short duration (May-Sept) rainy season which restricts most incomes to that period. Alternative livelihoods activities that allow for a spread of incomes all year-round in other to fill in the income and food insecurity gaps that occur during the off season would seek to address this shortfall. the role of NWFPs to rural livelihood enhancement and wealth creation seem to be least recognized and given attention in northern Ghana. To address the research problem, various methods (qualitative and quantitative) in data collection and analyses were used. These included Case Studies, Focus Group Discussions, Observations, In-depth interviews and Questionnaires among others. The main findings were that ; first, gathering, processing and marketing of NWFPs is a key rural livelihood activity engaged in by farmers in the district contributing to the household security. Second, the contribution of NWFPs to annual income is found to be low mostly within the bracket of 1-20GH¢, suggesting that, income generated from NWFPs is used to fill a cash shortfall, not to make improvements in household security. Third, reliance placed on NWFPs gathering, processing and marketing depends not only on the availability of resources but also on the ease of access to markets, the existence of trade networks and skills acquired. Fourth, it was established that, indigenous beliefs and practices were the modes of NWFPs management 15 years ago. Sixth, communities and traditional authorities are least involved in the initiation and acceptance stages of policies and programmes in relation to NRM in the district. The recommendations are that : 1, the development of inventory of NWFPs as a prelude to its enhancement as a livelihood asset in northern Ghana and secondly the need for value addition to NWFPs extracted. 2, Institutional Capacity should be strengthened by improving coordination between agencies responsible for NWFPs development and improving the knowledge and skills of farmers/resources users and other stakeholders. 3, the need to integrate contemporal and traditional management systems into natural resource and NWFPs related management systems. 4, ensure policy formulation/ reform and implementation in favour of NWFPs development in the savannah ecosystem as a means of addressing the issue of NWFPs as an alternative livelihood resource.

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