J. Bio. Env. Sci.5(3), 1-8, September 2014
Community forestry user groups (CFUGs) are hetrogenious in terms of social and economic conditions, which influencetheir preference and use of tangible forest products (timber, fuel wood, Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), fodder and leaf-litter). The study aimed to examine relationship between economic heterogeneity and forest product preference in the community forests based on empirical research in two community forest user groups (CFUGs) of Dolakha District of Central Nepal. The study analyzed preference of forest products among different economic strata (rich, medium, poor and very poor) of the CFUGs by conducting survey of 115 household along with group discussions and key informant interviews. Forest product preferences vary with the economic status of the respondents. Preference for timber increased with the betterment of economic status, whereas the very poor and the poor respondents have higher affinity for fuelwood. No clear distinct pattern was observed in case of NTFPs. Medium and poor class households highly preferred fodder as they owned relatively less farm landandhigh number of domesticated cattle. Results indicates that the users of lowest economic status are deprived of getting maximum benefit from forest management if assessed in terms of economic values of benefits. This is possibly due to their less preference for the most commercially valuable forest product, timber, which is possibly induced by two factors – low household requirement and restriction in commercial utilization. The study agrue for promoting pro-poor benefit distribution mechanism in CFUGs such that equitable sharing of benefits could be ensured.
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