Sustainable NTFPs harvesting: A good option model for women forest dwellers’ food security and livelihood promotion
Bibhuti Bhusan Dash
The tribal communities in Keonjhar, Odisha are excluded in many ways from accessing and benefiting from the fruits of developmental mainstream.. Within tribal groups, women are more marginalised and sidelined than men despite their multiple roles in the household. Women’s exclusion from the mainstream knowledge systems, market sphere and their limited access and control over the resources, affects the overall development of tribal communities. Key for economic growth of tribal communities is the equal participation and promotion of women’s physical and economic rights. This necessitates for a purposive design of activities and institutional mechanisms for both socially inclusive economic empowerment and environmentally sustainable growth by building their knowledge and skills to sustainable harvesting restore NTFP based value chains for sustainable livelihoods. The present paper is an attempt to address the geographical, social, technological and economic inclusion of tribal women in the NTFP total Value chain including Good harvesting practice, regeneration of NTFP resources base and downstream market integration to improve their incomes in Keonjhor district of Odisha state. It is found that by employing inclusive strategies,- of sustainable harvesting and post harvest processing with application of low cost or zero cost scientific technologies and participative approaches the socially excluded women could be organized, engaged and integrated successfully by leveraging proven NTFP livelihood model in the value chains and markets for increasing their incomes.