Processing and Marketing of Non-wood Forest Products: Potential Impacts and Challenges in Africa

  • T Chupezi
  • O Ndoye
  • M Tchata
  • B Chikamai
Keywords: livelihood, poverty reduction, processing of NWFP, marketing, subsistence value


This paper provides an overview and synthesis of the processing and marketing of NWFP in Africa. Indeed,
NWFPs provide a livelihood support system for forest communities and poor urban households in terms of food,
medicines, income and employment. However, forest communities remain poor, always struggling to make a
living rather than improving their status quo. This trend raises concern whether NWFPs constitute a poverty
trap, a safety net or a resource for rural development and poverty alleviation. This paper tries to address some of
these concerns with the main objective of drawing lessons from experiences across the African continent on the
opportunities and challenges of the NWFPs sector. Such lessons are considered very important in informing the
development of policies in future that can better contribute and sustain the provision of income and livelihood
to stakeholders. Lessons drawn from this analysis shows that organised production, processing and marketing
of NWFPs can increase the revenue of dependent communities, thereby contributing to poverty reduction in
Africa. The paper concludes that the salient requirements for the development of the NWFP include adding value
locally, choosing the right marketing strategy, informing local producers and organisations on legal procedures,
supporting and building capacities of vibrant/accountable local organisations, conducting cost effective research
and development, and disseminating appropriate information on the resource base and on market conditions.

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eISSN: 1015-079X