Roles of forest and tree products in employment creation and poverty reduction in rural areas of Delta State
The study was conducted to investigate roles of forest and tree products (FTPs) in employment creation and poverty reduction in rural areas of Delta State, Nigeria. Purpose was to attract the attention of policy makers and stakeholders that aside farming there are other sectors of the rural economy that can help address food problems, create jobs and reduce poverty when given attention. Multistage sampling techniques were used to select 360 rural household respondents. Data were collected from primary and secondary sources. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Z-test distribution and Foster, Greer and Thorbecke model of poverty analysis. Results show that income from farming by the rural households was the highest, followed by income from FTPs. However FTPs consumption income was the highest among the rural households, followed by consumption income from farming. FTPs income helped to reduce poverty among the rural households. This is because when FTPs income was excluded from household total income, incidence, gap, and severity of poverty increased from 0.4870, 0.1522 and 0.0476 to 0.7903, 0.3203 and 0.0810 respectively. Females were more actively involved in FTPs employment than their male counterparts t (P<0.05). The results call for policy direction towards enhancing production, processing, marketing, method of extraction and conservation of FTPs to help increase employment, generate more income, and reduce poverty. FTPs should be properly valued and used to provide good estimates of the rural economy.
Keywords: Forest and Tree Products Income, Employment Creation and Poverty Reduction