Externally fostered processing and marketing of non-timber forest products (NTFPs), contribution to household income, the analysis of opportunities and challenges in the value chain
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This article reflects on the contribution of externally fostered processing and marketing of selected non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in marginal districts of Zimbabwe and assesses the opportunities and challenges encountered by rural people as they become part of the production and marketing chain of the these products. The contribution of the NTFPs processing and marketing to rural household income and food security is assessed vis-à-vis the poor who are largely collectors of raw materials. The study findings show that rural people as collectors and producers of the products such as baobab, marula nuts, mopane worms and masau and honey are part of the lower levels of the value chain and do not control the process since the role of NGOs in the value chain remains central. Community producers do not understand the NTFP marketing system and heavily rely on intermediaries and NGOs who are knowledgeable and have information and connections with the NTFPs markets. Thus, they remain delinked to the end user or consumer of the products they produce, despite generating income from the marketing of the products. The study conducted in Muzarabani, Gokwe and Mwenezi districts shows that without the intermediaries and supporting NGOs, the processing and marketing of NTFPs is not likely to continue as it remains a new livelihood activity externally fostered. However, despite the delink between producers and the markets, there is evidence of positive contribution to household income although sustainability questions remain unanswered. The markets exist but are beyond the reach of the producers, without the intermediaries, the markets do not exist. At the policy level, community producers should be capacity-built beyond production to be active high level market participants in the value chain.
Additional Citation InformationMusevenzi, J. (2016). Externally fostered processing and marketing of non-timber forest products (NTFPs), contribution to household income, the analysis of opportunities and challenges in the value chain. University of Zimbabwe Business Review, 4 (2), 98-109.
University of Zimbabwe, Faculty of Commerce
SubjectNon-timber forest products
Marketing value chain