Perceptions of commercialisation and value-addition of non-timber forest products in forest adjacent communities in Ghana

Asamoah, Obed, Danquah, Jones Abrefa, Bamwesiegwe, Dastan, Verter, Nahanga, Acheampong, Emmanuel, Boateng, Charles Mario, Kuittinen, Suvi, Appiah, Mark, and Pappinen, Ari (2023) Perceptions of commercialisation and value-addition of non-timber forest products in forest adjacent communities in Ghana. Discover Sustainability, 4. 30.

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Residents living adjacent to forests commonly gather non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for income, nourishment, ailment treatment, firewood, religious reasons, and artefacts. This study investigates local perceptions of the commercialisation and value addition of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in forest-adjacent communities in Ghana. NTFPs are integral to food security and cultural practices. However, more is needed to know about local perceptions of these products' commercialisation and value addition. In this study, we collected data using a qualitative research approach through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with community members involved in NTFP collection and sales. To determine which NTFPs are collected, we interviewed 732 residents about their perception of value addition to the NTFPs collected and if value addition has impacted the commercialisation and quality of the products obtained from the forest. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data for the study. From the survey, frequencies and percentages of responses were analysed for each indicator related to value addition and commercialisation of NTFPs. The study found that 97.5% of those surveyed frequently visited the forest to gather different NTFPs. For example, mushrooms, snails, honey, and others were the most collected. Also, most interviewees do not process or add value to the NTFPs collected from the forest; thus, adding value to these NTFPs could increase incomes in the future. The findings indicate that locals have a variety of perceptions and understandings about commercialisation and value-addition processes. The study emphasises the importance of understanding local perceptions to develop effective strategies for the commercialisation and value addition of NTFPs. By incorporating the perceptions and insights of locals, interventions can be tailored to meet the needs and aspirations of forest-adjacent communities and promote sustainable resource management and equitable distribution of benefits. Future research should focus on educating locals about the value addition to NTFPs, and processes for increasing the price of NTFPs by adding value and commercialising these products. Proper commercialising of NTFPs may well help improve the lives of the locals.

Item ID: 79452
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2662-9984
Keywords: Alternative livelihoods, Non-timber forest products, Poverty reduction, Value addition
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2024 01:46
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410499 Environmental management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180601 Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems @ 100%
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