keywords: Compendium, community livelihoods, priority tree species, NTFPs
NTFP are consumed locally in all the communities in Taraba State and this has been one of the means of livelihoods. Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) have been identified to contribute to community livelihoods. Such contributions are people as well as site specific and may be short-lived if continuous availability cannot be guaranteed. Information on the role of NTFPs in community livelihoods is crucial to their sustainable management; however, this role has not been properly documented in Taraba State. Therefore, contributions of NTFPs to community livelihoods in Taraba State were investigated. A four-stage sampling procedure was used in the study. Three Local Government Areas (LGAs) were randomly selected from each of the three existing Agro-ecological zones (AEZs) in Taraba State. Five wards from each LGA was randomly selected. A total of 4,495 respondents were identified for this study. At 30% sampling intensity 1,350 respondents were randomly selected for this study. Five sets of questionnaire were administered to 435 Harvesters, (HVTS) 188 Livestock Managers (LMs), 338 Marketers, (MKTS) 327 Building and Energy materials Suppliers (BEMSr) and 62 Medicinal Herbs Collectors (MHCs). The NTFPs were identified and prioritised. Contributions of selected NTFPs to community livelihoods were evaluated using Food, (FD), Livestock Feed (LF), Income and Employment Generation (IEG), Building and Energy Material Supplies (BEMS) and Medicinal Herbs Utilisation (MHU) as indices of livelihoods to produce a compendium. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and final Assign value. Two hundred and six NTFPs were identified including nine dietary supplements. Ten species having priority for community livelihoods were Afzelia africana (35), Balanites aegyptiaca (34.5), Vitellaria paradoxa (34), Parkia biglobosa (33.5), Irvingia gabonensis (33), Xylopia aethiopica (32.5), Faidherbia albida (32), Adansonia digitata (32), Brachystegia eurycoma (32), and Elaeis guineensis (31.5). Forty-six species of NTFPs were used as Food (36 trees, 3 shrubs, 7 herbs), twenty-four as BEMSr (17 trees, 3 shrubs, 4 herbs) and twenty-nine for MHU (24 trees, 2 shrubs, 3 herbs). The two hundred and six NTFPs belong to forty-four families. Ten of the identified 206 Non-Timber Forest Products significantly enhanced livelihood status in Taraba State. These species are however under pressure due to multiple usages, which have implication for their sustainable management. In situ conservation is therefore recommended to mitigate the pressure on them. This can be done through intensive management and domestication of priority NTFPs through small holder cultivation in farms and gardens, commercial plantation and enrichment planting in forest reserves in the study area.
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