Boosting incomes through the collection of non-timber forest products

About 1,300 collectors in Ghana and Liberia generated over $1.6m worth of seeds from wild collection of non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

One of ASNAPP’s strategic development initiatives is the promotion of natural products as a complementary income generating activity to supplement existing activities of farmers, collectors and processors that it has assisted over the years. The approach adopted has been to sustainably commercialise natural products that will contribute to socio-economic development in addition to helping beneficiaries diversify their risks and over exposure/reliance on traditional sources of income and markets.

Key accomplishments are the establishment of a 500m2 centralised nursery in Ghana accommodating 90,000 Grains of Paradise (GOP) seedlings, 1,500 Voacanga seedlings, 5,000 black pepper seedlings, and 4,000 Griffonia seedlings.

Key successes chalked have been the establishment of over 36 acres of farm which is expected to generate about $126,000 in the second year after planting.

Additionally, ASNAPP facilitated the mobilisation of about 15MT of wild Griffonia seeds from collectors within and beyond the project areas for two private companies (West African Naturals and Pure Company) valued at $225,000 with collectors generating $200 to $500 per person for the season. The organisation also worked with five key agents and exporters who independently mobilised and supplied about 100MT of Griffonia valued at $1,500,000.

GOP growers were also supported to supply 2.5MT of the products to Starlight Company and Phytobase industries valued at $17,000 with ASNAPP serving as market facilitators. By working closely with other private sector companies and its communities, ASNAPP was also able to mobilise 12MT of kombo nuts valued at over $4,000 and assisted Begoro women group to process 4MT of kombo butter for the US market valued at $12,000. With these trades, ASNAPP acted as the honest broker ensuring that suppliers meet buyer’s quality requirements and specifications and buyers pay for goods supplied.

Similarly farmers in Liberia were also supported to seven 50,000 seedling capacity nurseries in four counties for seedling supply for farm establishment. In all 150,000 seedlings of GOP, 300,000 seedlings of BEC and 26,000 seedlings of improved variety (Balancotta) of black pepper developed and supplied to over 100 farmers for the establishment of over 70 acres of NTFP farms. This is expected to generate proceeds of about $490,000 in the third year.

600 collectors and agents capacities were built on wild collection of medicinal plants in Nimba, Sinoe, Grand Gedeh and River Gee. The rippling effect of the training yielded 700kg of Griffonia valued at $3,500 during the collection in the first six months of interventions; the first of its kind in Liberia. These activities are not only putting money in the pockets of farmers, collectors and agents, but also demonstrated the capability of rural communities to also participate in the value addition chain at the local level.

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