Forests as Source of Food in Rural India

By useradmin1

Forests as a source of food in rural India remain under-noticed. Especially unobserved is forests’ potential to provide food for the human population inhabiting or surrounding them. For people accustomed to relying on markets and public service delivery, it is easy to overlook this aspect. Further, forest foods (also known as Non-timber Forest Produce, NTFP), tend to go unnoticed as forests are mostly viewed as spaces of wildlife co-habitation, providers of livelihood, protectors of the natural environment, viz. watershed, soil erosion, etc. Using National Sample Survey (NSS) data, we observe that a significant section of rural population meets its consumption needs from forests through the process of free collection. This category of free collection may not exclusively represent food consumed from forests as it may also include common lands, water bodies, etc. Nevertheless, in India, NSS is the best possible data available to understand food consumed from forests. The ...

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