Market expansion's influence on the harvesting of non-wood forest products in the Arasbaran forests of Iran

Ghanbari, S.; Vaezin, S.M.H.; Shamekhi, T.; Eastin, I.L.

The Forestry Chronicle 90(5): 599-604


DOI: 10.5558/tfc2014-123
Accession: 068507616

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Commercialization and expansion of the market for non-wood forest products (NWFPs) may increase the gathering and selling of these products, as well as their contribution to local livelihoods. The influence of market access on the type of dependency is significant. This study examines the relationship between market access and the harvesting of NWFPs as well as the limitations and problems in gathering and selling these products. Cornelian cherry, walnut and plum were the most commonly harvested species. Of the 13 Nwfp species collected in Arasbaran forests, just three species, cornelian cherry, plum and pomegranate were sold in the local markets. The average contribution of NWFPs towards total household income was just 2.7%. The villages of cluster 1 had better access to markets and middlemen than did the villages in the other clusters and 63% of the local people in cluster 1 mentioned that they have increased their harvesting of NWFPs. Poor infrastructure, low or no access to markets, lack of market information, lack of cooperation, and low product prices were found to limit the potential economic benefits from harvesting NWFPs. In this situation, rural extension services can assist local people resolve many of these challenges and problems.