Year: 2020 | Month: December | Volume 65 | Issue 4
Non-timber Forest Products (NTFPs): Contribution towards Farmers’ Economy in North-Western Himalayas
A study was conducted in Rajouri and Kishtwar districts of Jammu region of J&K to assess the contribution of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) towards farmers’ economy in North-Western Himalayas. Anardana and Kalazeera were the important forest NTFPs collected by the farmers of Rajouri and Kishtwar districts, respectively for commercial purpose. Four major blocks of Rajouri namely Doongi, Rajouri, Kalakote and Manjakote and two major blocks of Kishtwar namely Nagseni and Paddar were selected purposively, as the areas earmarked maximum extraction of mentioned NTFPs. Fifteen farmers were selected randomly from each block constituting a sample of 60 farmers from district Rajouri and 30 farmers from district Kishtwar. The average cost of collection of Anardana & Kalazeera was ` 414.16 and ` 1106.67, respectively. The overall gross and net income from Anardana was ` 7,588.33 and ` 5,228.33 per kg with cost benefit ratio of 3.34. The overall gross and net income from Kalazeera was ` 20,566.67 and ` 17,863.33 per kg with cost benefit ratio of 7.94. The percentage share of Anardana to total farm income in Rajouri district was 8.99 per cent, whereas it was 49.45 per cent for Kalazeera in Kishtwar district. The overall share of NTFPs to farm income was 24.11 per cent. The farmer’s income from NTFPs was significantly determined by total annual household income of the family, total time spent on gathering NTFPs and farm income at 5 per cent level of significance. Non-availability of labour was the major problem reported in collection of Anardana, whereas in case of Kalazeera, difficulty in harvesting the seeds was the major problem. The marketing system and market intelligence for NTFPs is urgently required for optimal use of natural resources and enhancing the income of farmers in North-Western Himalayas.
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