An investigation on the utilisation of forest resources for rural food security and economic development in Chipinge communities

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Research Paper 01/12/2021
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An investigation on the utilisation of forest resources for rural food security and economic development in Chipinge communities

Douglas Marowa, Angeline Musiya
J. Bio. Env. Sci.19( 6), 93-105, December 2021.
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Abstract

Forestry as a secondary food system substitutes or enhance food from the primary food system, when the later become scarce and expensive for the poor villagers. The research sought to investigate on the utilisation of forest resources for rural food security and economic development, with a view of establishing why communities continue to exist in poverty while they live with forests resources that could be exploited for their economic benefits. Descriptive design survey was used to collect qualitative and quantitative data. Sample of 4150 participants were selected out of 40000 households through stratified sampling, simple random sampling and purposive samplings. Data collection methods used were questionnaire, interviews, focus group discussions and field observations. Communities are not full utilizing the forest resources, except extraction of firewood, get bush meat, white and brown ants, fish, wild berries, forest leaves, fruits, honey as well as mushroom. Challenges noted were deforestation, illegal logging, fire outbreak, lack land tenure and user rights, markets and poor negotiating skills, poor network infrastructures, of environmental psychology, and human and wildlife conflict. Forestry could offer employment opportunities to local communities and rural economic development. There is high inconsistencies in policy and legislation between land tenure and resource use rights. Recommended for access to forest resources through improved land tenure, strengthening forest management policies at local management of natural forest, and partnerships between smallholders or communities and commercial companies. Communities should aim to establish food storage and processing factories for fruits, honey, mushroom, as well as vegetables among others.

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