Full Length Research Paper
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are economically-important commodities, especially in the humid and semi-humid regions of many sub-Saharan countries. However, in many of these countries, there is little information on the seasonality characterising their availability and collection, rendering difficult the development of meaningful packages for their sustainable use and valorisation. A study was therefore conducted in randomly selected villages in three zones around the sub-montane forests of Mount Kupe in South West Cameroon, in order to evaluate the effects of seasons on the collection and availability of these products. Data were collected through administration of semi-structured questionnaires and a rapid rural appraisal. Most NTFPs (85%) showed seasonality to different extents, in availability and abundance. Although, considerable differences were observed in the proportion of respondents who collected NTFPs during the dry and rainy seasons, no such difference could be attributed to the climatic or geographical zones. Half of the respondents collected NTFPs during the rainy season when there was relatively less work in their farms. About one-sixth (15.2%) collected NTFPs during the dry season (peak agricultural period) and a third (35%) collected some NTFPs all year round.
Key words: Cameroon, humid forest, non-timber, seasonality, collection.
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