Biodiversity: role of non-timber forest products in food security
Biodiversity has been identified as key solution to improving food security and sustainability in the areas of food and agriculture. The global food crisis in 2008 has brought about the demand to increase food production that will feed the populations of the world which leads to utilization of other food sources other than agricultural food produce. Non-timber forest products (NTFPS) are biological materials from the ecosystem which range from plants, parts of plants, fungi, animals and animal products that are consumed either as food, condiments, spices or medicine. NTFPS have been identified to play an important role in providing primary health and nutritional needs for people living in rural areas. Their roles in ensuring food security is beyond basic consumption but is also a means of financial empowerment to people who trade in the resources and hence ability to purchase quality, safe and nutritious food at all times which is the main aim of food security.
Keywords: Biodiversity, food security, non-timber food products