1. POTENTIAL NON WOOD FOREST PRODUCTS FOR FOOD SECURITY AND LIVELIHOOD SUPPORT IN BASTAR DISTRICT OF CHHATTISGARH STATE by SAJIWAN KUMAR
The role of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in rural livelihoods and forest conservation is widely debated. The perception of the forest as a ‘safety net’ or a ‘poverty trap’ for rural poor and the validity of the ‘conservation by commercialization’ hypothesis are currently receiving attention from research institutions, development agencies and international non-governmental organizations. The present study was carried out in the Bastar region, southern part of Chhattisgarh state. Biological diversity as well as cultural diversity of this region directly influenced the whole life of local community is famous not only in India but also overall world. Livelihood systems in this region are complex, primarily dependent on Agriculture and forest (including NWFPs, Medicinal drugs, etc.), agricultural labour and village artisans. It is more important that the problems of the people of disadvantaged regions like rainfed, hilly and tribal areas be addressed through imparting new skills to the poor and building up durable income generating assets and capacity to adapt to rapidly changing markets.
In Bastar, the forest is a vital asset in everyday life and food security of the rural population. Recently, the market for commercial NWFPs creating income-generating opportunities for rural people has received increasing research and development attention. However, knowledge about forest, people and market relations are still limited and this is a problem for current development and conservation efforts. The study was conducted in Lohandiguda block of Bastar district, during the study; I have surveyed ten villages to fulfill the objectives of study. Study suggested alternate sources of income to the villagers to improve their socio-economic conditions as well as increasing the income level and employment opportunities by effective collection and marketing of non-timber forest product and the same time making villagers come forward for forest protection.