Event Title

Economic and Environmental Implications of Non-TImeber Forest Products: A Study of Shea (Vitellaria paradox ssp. Nilotica) in Gambella, Ethiopia

Presenter Information

Marie Abrahams, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) refer to goods collected from forests such as wild plants and animals other than timber including foods, fiber, medicines, latex and sundry plants and fungal products/ wild nuts and fruits, leaves, bark, resin and roots. NTFPs significantly contribute to the livelihoods of rural communities in developing countries, and are less destructive than other forms of forest use including logging, mining and agricultural transformation. This research examines the production and marketing of shea butter in Western Ethiopia, drawing information from literature reviews, remote sensing analyses, on-site surveys and participatory meetings with rural shea processors. A review of the existing literature indicate that Ethiopias total potential shea production in 2004 was 1,000 metric tonnes, while actual production was only about 100 metric tonnes, all of which was used for domestic consumption. Vitellaria paradoxa may represent an under utilized resource in Ethiopia today however there are a number of significant barriers to shea production today. GIS shows that the shea resource is diminishing due to agricultural development. Survey results indicate that shea butter is a valuable source of income with a perceived potential for increased production and sales, however key barriers to commercialization in the Gambella Region include security, drought, and transportation. Finally, participatory meetings with the only cooperative in the region illustrate the extensive time and effort required to produce only minimal amounts of product. Conclusions emphasize the potential for shea production in Western Ethiopia to protect the environment while supporting rural communities in Ethiopia and across Sub-Saharan Africa if these barriers can be overcome.

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Environmental Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

182

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 10:00 AM

Economic and Environmental Implications of Non-TImeber Forest Products: A Study of Shea (Vitellaria paradox ssp. Nilotica) in Gambella, Ethiopia

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) refer to goods collected from forests such as wild plants and animals other than timber including foods, fiber, medicines, latex and sundry plants and fungal products/ wild nuts and fruits, leaves, bark, resin and roots. NTFPs significantly contribute to the livelihoods of rural communities in developing countries, and are less destructive than other forms of forest use including logging, mining and agricultural transformation. This research examines the production and marketing of shea butter in Western Ethiopia, drawing information from literature reviews, remote sensing analyses, on-site surveys and participatory meetings with rural shea processors. A review of the existing literature indicate that Ethiopias total potential shea production in 2004 was 1,000 metric tonnes, while actual production was only about 100 metric tonnes, all of which was used for domestic consumption. Vitellaria paradoxa may represent an under utilized resource in Ethiopia today however there are a number of significant barriers to shea production today. GIS shows that the shea resource is diminishing due to agricultural development. Survey results indicate that shea butter is a valuable source of income with a perceived potential for increased production and sales, however key barriers to commercialization in the Gambella Region include security, drought, and transportation. Finally, participatory meetings with the only cooperative in the region illustrate the extensive time and effort required to produce only minimal amounts of product. Conclusions emphasize the potential for shea production in Western Ethiopia to protect the environment while supporting rural communities in Ethiopia and across Sub-Saharan Africa if these barriers can be overcome.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/277