Prakash Sadashivappa, S. Suryaprakash, Vijesh Vijaya Krishna:
Participation Behaviour of Indigenous People in Non-timber Forest Products Extraction and Marketing in the Dry Deciduous Forests of South India


1University of Hohenheim, Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
2University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agricultural Economics, India

The paper examines the role of non-timber forest products (NTFP) in the rural household economy and the demographic and economic factors determining the participation in forest gathering in the dry deciduous forests of Karnataka, South India. It is observed that though the return for labour involved in NTFP extraction and marketing is comparatively higher to the existing wage rate of the primary sector, the labour supply was skewed towards the latter. The average return per day for NTFP could be appreciated by the percent of total labour employed for its gathering and marketing. The average return per day was found to be positively associated with the availability of product in the locality rather than the labour availability for NTFP extraction and marketing. This gives an alarming call on the diminishing NTFP resource in the region. Emphasis on agricultural activity was found to have a bearing on the level of extraction of NTFP. The stagnating agricultural sector would force more households to involve in the NTFP gathering, which could have a hampering effect on the sustainable forest management. Availability of women and child labour played an important role in the participation decision and income generation from forest gathering, while the share of adult members had negative effect on the household getting involved in NTFP gathering. Unit increase in days of employment as hired labour was found to reduce the income and is of great relevance as the Marginal Product was on par with the existing wage rate in the locality. Alternate employment opportunities for the available labour force has significant impact on deciding the extent of NTFP extraction and hence the income generation from it. The relative availability of NTFP in the forest range had significant influence on the income from NTFP gathering. The policies oriented towards sustainable forest management, therefore, ought to take in to consideration of the existing farming patterns and vice-versa. The closely knitted agriculture and forestry sectors calls for a multifaceted approach for forest management programme, keeping an eye on the development of the farming sector of the locality.

Keywords: Income generation, Participation Decision, Sustainable forest management

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Contact Address: Prakash Sadashivappa, University of Hohenheim, Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics# 254 Ist 'c" Main Kengeri Satellite Town, 560060 Bangalore, Germany, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, September 2006