Non-timber forest products and their benefits to rural livelihood: A case study of Saki agricultural zone of Oyo state, Nigeria
Adetunji SA and Akeredolu OA
Like in many other developing country, the occurrence of poverty in Nigeria is on the increase. This has exposed many households to unfavourable living conditions. Non timber forest products are a blessing from nature to human, diverse and poised to benefit several millions of people. If properly exploited, they are not only capable of solving food security and health related challenges but also contribute to household income. This study assessed the benefits of NTFPs to the livelihood of rural households. Data were obtained via well structured questionnaires. Obtained data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Findings revealed that there was high dependence on NTFPs in the study area. The study area was male dominated, the modal age range of the respondents was between 31-40 years of age. A total number of 44 invaluable NTFPs (plants and animals) belonging to 33 families were identified in the course of the study, their scientific and family names were documented alongside the morphological parts in use. Similarly, the contribution of these NTFPs to the rural household was documented. Areas of contribution include: standard of living, 30%; child education, 15%; family health, 18%; food security, 20% and income generation, 17%. No doubt, if well managed, generations to come would also be beneficiaries of these natural resources.