Bashir A. El-Tahir, Jens Gebauer:
Non-timber Forest Products -- Opportunities and Constraints for Poverty Reduction in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, Sudan


Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), El-Obeid Research Station, Sudan

This paper examines the potentials and constraints of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) to poverty reduction in South Kordofan State, Sudan. The main objectives of the study are to emphasise the variety of non-timber producing trees and shrubs species found in the area, to describe their potential contribution to local inhabitants health and wealth, and to indicate major constraints to promoting their domestication and planting for non-timber forest products. Drawing on a study of four provinces in south Kordofan State, the findings confirms that these tree species contribute significantly to the diet and income of the rural inhabitants. The area is naturally endowed with a multiplicity of trees and shrub species commonly exploited for a variety of uses such as food, medicine, fodder, and income generation. These trees and shrubs have a substantial impact on the productivity and sustainability of production systems in the area. The study revealed that most of these species are badly exploited and the extraction of their products is so primitive and will lead to the endangerment of the species. These exploitation methods coupled with poor managements of naturally growing trees in absence of tree planting strongly threaten the sustainability of production and diversity. It is recommended that NTFPs trees and shrub should be conserved and improved and given high research priority in order to sustain productivity and hence food security and income. Research should focus on appropriate extraction methods, propagation and planting techniques, processing and marketing. Furthermore, the local communities should be involved at early stages in domestication programs.

Keywords: Domestication, non-timber forest products, Nuba Mountains, poverty reduction, South Kordofan, Sudan

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Contact Address: Bashir A. El-Tahir, Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC), El-Obeid Research Station51111 El Obeid, Sudan, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, September 2004