Non-timber forest product

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs), also known as non-wood forest products (NWFPs)[1], minor forest produce,[2] special, minor, alternative and secondary forest products, are useful substances, materials and/or commodities obtained from forests which do not require harvesting (logging) trees. They include game animals, fur-bearers, nuts, seeds, berries, mushrooms, oils, foliage, pollarding, medicinal plants, peat, mast, fuelwood, fish, spices, and forage.[3]

Research on NTFPs has focused on their ability to be produced as commodities for rural incomes and markets, as an expression of traditional knowledge or as a livelihood option for rural household needs, and as a key component of sustainable forest management and conservation strategies. All research promotes forest products as valuable commodities and tools that can promote the conservation of forests.

Diospyros melanoxylon Tendu
Tendu patta (leaf) collection


The wide variety of NTFPs includes mushrooms, huckleberries, ferns, transplants, seed cones, piñon seeds, tree nuts, moss, maple syrup, cork, cinnamon, rubber, wild pigs, tree oils and resins, and ginseng. The United Kingdom's Forestry Commission defines NTFPs as "any biological resources found in woodlands except timber",[4] and Forest Harvest, part of the Reforesting Scotland project, defines them as "materials supplied by woodlands - except the conventional harvest of timber".[5] These definitions include wild and managed game, fish, and insects.[6] NTFPs are commonly grouped into categories such as floral greens, decoratives, medicinal plants, foods, flavors and fragrances, fibers, and saps and resins.

Other terms similar to NTFPs include special, non-wood, minor, alternative, and secondary forest products. NTFPs in particular highlight forest products which are of value to local people and communities, but have been overlooked in the wake of forest management priorities (for example, timber production and animal forage). In recent decades, interest has grown in using NTFPs as alternatives or supplements to forest management practices. In some forest types, under the right political and social conditions, forests can be managed to increase NTFP diversity, and consequently, to increase biodiversity and potentially economic diversity. Black truffle cultivation in the Mediterranean area is a good example of a high profitability when well managed.[7][8]


The harvest of NTFPs remains widespread throughout the world. People from a wide range of socioeconomic, geographical, and cultural contexts harvest NTFPs for a number of purposes, including household subsistence, maintenance of cultural and familial traditions, spiritual fulfillment, physical and emotional well-being, house heating and cooking, animal feeding, indigenous medicine and healing, scientific learning, and income.[6] Other terms synonymous with harvesting include wild-crafting, gathering, collecting, and foraging. NTFPs also serve as raw materials for industries ranging from large-scale floral greens suppliers and pharmaceutical companies to microenterprises centered upon a wide variety of activities (such as basket-making, woodcarving, and the harvest and processing of various medicinal plants).

Economic importance

Estimate the contribution of NTFPs to national or regional economies is difficult, broad-based systems for tracking the combined value of the hundreds of products that make up various NTFP industries are lacking. One exception to this is the maple syrup industry, which in 2002 in the US alone yielded 1.4 million US gallons (5,300 m3) worth US$D38.3 million.[9] In temperate forests such as in the US, wild edible mushrooms such as matsutake, medicinal plants such as ginseng, and floral greens such as salal and sword fern are multimillion-dollar industries. While these high-value species may attract the most attention, a diversity of NTFPs can be found in most forests of the world.

In tropical forests, for example, NTFPs can be an important source of income that can supplement farming and/or other activities. A value analysis of the Amazon rainforest in Peru found that exploitation of NTFPs could yield higher net revenue per hectare than would timber harvest of the same area, while still conserving vital ecological services.[10] Their economic, cultural, and ecological values, when considered in aggregate, make managing NTFPs an important component of sustainable forest management and the conservation of biological and cultural diversity.

In India

NTFPs of plant origin
  1. Edible plant products
  2. Medicinal plants
  3. Aromatic plants
  4. Gums and resin exuding plants
  5. Dyes and colour-yielding plants
  6. Fiber and floss-yielding plants
  7. Jam-yielding plants
  8. Bamboos
  9. Canes
  10. Fodder and forage
  11. Fuelwood
  12. Charcoal briquettes
  13. Leaves for plates

In ethnic minority people's livelihoods

Minority people in Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos are living away from the mainstream settlements. The hill tribes and many other minority groups are closely associated with forests for centuries. Much of their household subsistence and part of the income is generated from the sale of a variety of NTFP products. In the highlands of Vietnam, NTFPs production is spread almost throughout the year, so provides a sustained income for the ethnic minority people. From June to August is the wild berry called uoi (Scaphium macropodium) collection that provides the bulk of household income. Every family sends several people into the forest on a regular basis during this period where they stay for 2–3 days during which 5–6 kg of berries are collected. A kilogram of dried berries (2–3 days of sun-dry) is sold for $1.50. The next comes bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and vegetable collection that goes through to February. The minority people in Sa Pa area depends mainly on a variety of NTFPs for their livelihoods. Among the products collected are fruits, berries, leaves, mushrooms, fish, bees honey, bamboo shoots, wild orchids and the list goes on. The Friday market is full of orchids and other wild plants put forward by these people for the tourists, both domestic and international, that flock there. Between 10-15% of the total household income is derived from the sale of NTFPs. The harvesting of leaves in the diet of family goes round the year where different species are readily available in specific months. Water from forest areas is yet another service that is useful in the livelihoods of these people. They have micro-hydro plants installed in streams that generate the much needed power for pounding (grain and seeds) and lighting too.

In the drier areas of Sri Lanka, the harvesting of curry leaves to be sold to traders is an important income. The harvesting of velvet tamarind (Dialium ovoideum) is an important income source to the rural people. This tree which is endemic to the country provides a fruit that has a high-popularity during certain months of the year. The returns from the sale of these two products is an important addition to the household incomes of rural people.


Research on NTFPs has focused on three perspectives: NTFPs as a commodity with a focus on rural incomes and markets, as an expression of traditional knowledge or as a livelihood option for rural household needs, and finally, as a key component of sustainable forest management and conservation strategies. These perspectives promote forest products as valuable commodities and important tools that can promote the conservation of forests. In some contexts, the gathering and use of NTFPs can be a mechanism for poverty alleviation and local development.[11][12]

See also


  1. ^ "Non-wood forest products". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  2. ^ "Minor Forest Produce (MFP) - Arthapedia".
  3. ^ "Glossary of Forestry Terms in British Columbia" (PDF). Ministry of Forests and Range (Canada). March 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
  4. ^ "Forest Research - Social, cultural and economic values of contemporary non-timber forest products: Wild Harvests". Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  5. ^ "non timber forest products in Scotland". ForestHarvest. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  6. ^ a b "Forests and non-timber forest products". Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  7. ^ Bonet, Jose-Antonio; Oliach, Daniel; Fischer, Christine; Olivera, Antoni; Martinez de Aragon, Juan; Colinas, Carlos (2009). "Cultivation Methods of the Black Truffle, the Most Profitable Mediterranean Non-Wood Forest Product; A State of the Art Review". Modelling, Valuing and Managing Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems for Non-Timber Goods and Services. 57: 57–71.
  8. ^ Martinez de Aragon, Juan; Fischer, Christine; Bonet, Jose-Antonio (2012). "Economically profitable post fire restoration with black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) producing plantations". New Forests. 43 (5–6): 615–630. doi:10.1007/s11056-012-9316-x.
  9. ^ "SIC 0831 Forest Nurseries and Gathering of Forest Products". Encyclopedia of American Industries, 5th ed. Gale. 2008.
  10. ^ Peters, Charles M.; Alwyn H. Gentry; Robert O. Mendelsohn (29 June 1989). "Valuation of an Amazonian rainforest". Nature. 339 (6227): 655–656. doi:10.1038/339655a0.
  11. ^ Belcher, B.M. (2003). "What isn't an NTFP?". International Forestry Review. 5 (2): 161–168. doi:10.1505/IFOR.
  12. ^ Kala, CP 2003. Medicinal Plants of Indian Trans-Himalaya.;jsessionid=453D5B8DEE32770EACE0E447E613263E

Further reading

  • Delang, Claudio O. 2006. The Role of Wild Food Plants in Poverty Alleviation and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Countries. Progress in Development Studies 6(4): 275-286
  • Emery, Marla and Rebecca J. McLain; (editors). 2001. Non-Timber Forest Products: Medicinal Herbs, Fungi, Edible Fruits and Nuts, and Other Natural Products from the Forest. Food Products Press: Binghamton, New York.
  • Guillen, Abraham; Laird, Sarah A.; Shanley, Patricia; Pierce, Alan R. (editors). 2002. Tapping the Green Market: Certification and Management of Non-Timber Forest Products. Earthscan
  • Jones, Eric T. Rebecca J. McLain, and James Weigand. eds. 2002. Non Timber Forest Products in the United States. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.
  • Mohammed, Gina H. 2011. The Canadian NTFP Business Companion: Ideas, Techniques and Resources for Small Businesses in Non-Timber Forest Products & Services. Candlenut Books: Sault Ste Marie, Ontario

External links

Boletus aereus

Boletus aereus, the dark cep or bronze bolete, is a highly prized and much sought-after edible mushroom in the family Boletaceae. The bolete is widely consumed in Spain (Basque Country and Navarre), France, Italy, Greece, and generally throughout the Mediterranean. Described as a new species in 1789 by French mycologist Pierre Bulliard, it is closely related to several other European boletes, including B. reticulatus, B. pinophilus, and the popular B. edulis. Some populations in North Africa have been classified as a separate species, B. mamorensis, although they are phylogenetically very close.

The fungus predominantly grows in habitats with broad-leaved trees and shrubs, forming symbiotic ectomycorrhizal associations in which the underground roots of these plants are enveloped with sheaths of fungal tissue (hyphae). The cork oak (Quercus suber) is a key host. The fungus produces spore-bearing fruit bodies above ground in summer and autumn. The fruit body has a large dark brown cap, which can reach 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. Like other boletes, B. aereus has tubes extending downward from the underside of the cap, rather than gills; spores escape at maturity through the tube openings, or pores. The pore surface of the fruit body is whitish when young, but ages to a greenish-yellow. The squat brown stipe, or stem, is up to 15 cm (6 in) tall and 10 cm (4 in) thick and partially covered with a raised network pattern, or reticulation.

Bolikhamsai Province

Bolikhamsai (also Borikhamxay, Lao: ບໍລິຄໍາໄຊ) is a province of Laos, located in the middle of the country. Pakxanh, Thaphabath, Pakkading, Borikhan, Viengthong and Khamkheu are its districts and Paksan is its capital city. The province is also home to Nam Theun 2 Dam, the country's largest hydroelectric project.Bolikhamsai Province, one of the provinces of Laos, covers an area of 14,863 square kilometres (5,739 sq mi). Bolikhansai Province borders Xiangkhouang Province to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Khammouan Province to the south, and Thailand to the west. The province includes the Annamite Range, stretching east to Vietnam, while to the west are the Mekong River and Thailand. At 3,700 square kilometres (1,400 sq mi), the Nakai–Nam Theun National Biodiversity Conservation Area in Bolikhamsai and Khammouane Provinces is the third largest protected area in Laos.

Canarium strictum

Canarium strictum, known by common names including black dhup and black dammar, is a species of tree in the family Burseraceae (the incense tree family). It is known for the medicinal and commercial use of the resin it exudates, called black dammar.

Chiquibul Forest Reserve

The Chiquibul Forest reserve (CFR) lies within Belize's Greater Mayan Mountains. The Forest Reserve lies adjacent to the Belize-Guatemalan border and as such had been the focus of illegal harvesting of Xate by Guatemalan Xateros. The Chiquibul forest reserve consists of 59,822 hectares. The Chiquibul Forest Reserve is bordered to the southwest, east, and south by the Chiquibul National Park, on the northwest edge by the Caracol Archaeological Reserve (CAR), and on the north side by the Mountain Pine Ridge. The Chiquibul Forest Reserve along with the Chiquibul Park and the Caracol Archeological Reserve compose the Chiquibul Forest.


Ethnobotany is the study of a region's plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local culture and people. An ethnobotanist thus strives to document the local customs involving the practical uses of local flora for many aspects of life, such as plants as medicines, foods, and clothing. Richard Evans Schultes, often referred to as the "father of ethnobotany", explained the discipline in this way:

Ethnobotany simply means ... investigating plants used by societies in various parts of the world.

Since the time of Schultes, the field of ethnobotany has grown from simply acquiring ethnobotanical knowledge to that of applying it to a modern society, primarily in the form of pharmaceuticals. Intellectual property rights and benefit-sharing arrangements are important issues in ethnobotany.

Forest produce (India)

Forest produce is defined under section 2(4) of the Indian Forest Act, 1927. Its legal definition includes timber, charcoal, caoutchouc, catechu, wood-oil, resin, natural varnish, bark, lac, myrobalans, mahua flowers (whether found inside or brought from a forest or not), trees and leaves, flowers and fruit, plants (including grass, creepers, reeds and moss), wild animals, skins, tusks, horns, bones, cocoons, silk, honey, wax, other parts or produce of animals, and also includes peat, surface soil, rocks and minerals etc. when found inside or brought from a forest, among other things.

Forest produce can be divided into several categories. From the point of view of usage, forest produce can be categorized into three types: Timber, Non Timber and Minor Minerals. Non-timber forest products [NTFPs] are known also as minor forest produce (MFP) or non-wood forest produce (NWFP). The NTFP can be further categorized into medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP), oil seeds, fiber & floss, resins, edible plants, bamboo, reeds and grasses.

Forest product

A forest product is any material derived from forestry for direct consumption or commercial use, such as lumber, paper, or forage for livestock. Wood, by far the dominant product of forests, is used for many purposes, such as wood fuel (e.g. in form of firewood or charcoal) or the finished structural materials used for the construction of buildings, or as a raw material, in the form of wood pulp, that is used in the production of paper. All other non-wood products derived from forest resources, comprising a broad variety of other forest products, are collectively described as non-timber forest products (NTFP). Non-timber forest products are viewed to have fewer negative effects on forest ecosystem when providing income sources for local community.

Index of forestry articles

This article is the index of forestry topics.


Lumber (North American English) or timber (used in the rest of the English-speaking world) is a type of wood that has been processed into beams and planks, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for structural purposes but has many other uses as well.

There are two main types of lumber. It may be supplied either rough-sawn, or surfaced on one or more of its faces. Besides pulpwood, rough lumber is the raw material for furniture-making and other items requiring additional cutting and shaping. It is available in many species, usually hardwoods; but it is also readily available in softwoods, such as white pine and red pine, because of their low cost.Finished lumber is supplied in standard sizes, mostly for the construction industry – primarily softwood, from coniferous species, including pine, fir and spruce (collectively spruce-pine-fir), cedar, and hemlock, but also some hardwood, for high-grade flooring. It is more commonly made from softwood than hardwoods, and 80% of lumber comes from softwood.

Lycopodium obscurum

Lycopodium obscurum, commonly called rare clubmoss, ground pine, prince's pine or princess pine, is a North American species of clubmoss in the family Lycopodiaceae. It is a close relative of other treelike Lycopodium such as L. dendroideum and L. hickeyi. It is native to the eastern United States and southeastern Canada from Georgia to Minnesota to Nova Scotia. It grows in the understory of temperate coniferous and deciduous forests, where it is involved in seral secondary succession, growing in clonal colonies some years after disturbance has occurred. It has also been found in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Russian Far East, and northeastern China.

Native American use of fire in ecosystems

Prior to European colonization of the Americas, indigenous peoples used controlled burns to modify the landscape. These controlled fires were part of the environmental cycles and maintenance of wildlife habitats that sustained the people's cultures and economies. What was initially perceived by colonists as "untouched, pristine" wilderness in North America, was actually the cumulative result of these occasional, managed fires creating an intentional mosaic of grasslands and forests across North America, sustained and managed by the original Peoples of the landbase.Radical disruption of Indigenous burning practices occurred with European colonization and forced relocation of those who had historically maintained the landscape. Some colonists understood the traditional use and potential benefits of low intensity, broadcast burns ("Indian-type" fires), while others feared and suppressed them. In the 1880s, impacts of colonization had devastated indigenous populations, and fire exclusion became more widespread; by the early 20th century fire suppression had become official U.S. federal policy. Understanding pre-colonization land management, and the traditional knowledge held by the Indigenous peoples who practiced it, provides an important basis for current re-engagement with the landscape and is critical to correctly interpreting the ecological basis for vegetation distribution.

Naval stores industry

The naval stores industry collects, processes, and markets forest products refined from the oleoresin of the slash pine and longleaf pine trees (genus Pinus). The industry was associated with the maintenance of the wooden ships and sailing tackle of pre-20th century navies, which were caulked and waterproofed using the pitch (or resin, also known as tar) of the pine tree.


NTFP may refer to:

Never Take Friendship Personal, an album by the band Anberlin

Non-timber forest product, a natural resource that is harvested from the forest such as fruits, nuts, latex, leaves, mushrooms and more

Oecophylla smaragdina

Oecophylla smaragdina (common names include weaver ant, green ant, green tree ant, and orange gaster) is a species of arboreal ant found in tropical Asia and Australia. These ants form colonies with multiple nests in trees, each nest being made of leaves stitched together using the silk produced by the ant larvae.

Phoenix loureiroi

Phoenix loureiroi, commonly known as mountain date palm, vuyavuy palm, or voyavoy palm,) is a species of flowering plant in the palm family, indigenous to southern Asia, from the Philippines, Taiwan, India, southern Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Pakistan, and China. It occurs in deciduous and evergreen forests and in clear terrain from sea level to 1,500 m altitude.Phoenix loureiroi is named after João de Loureiro; it was originally written by Kunth as "loureirii", but this is an error to be corrected to loureiroi under the provisions of the ICBN.

Rural crafts

Rural crafts refers to the traditional crafts production that is carried on, simply for everyday practical use, in the agricultural countryside. Once widespread and commonplace, the survival of some rural crafts is now in doubt according to the report 'Mapping Heritage Craft' (Nov 2012).

Not being generally produced for sale, they do not fall under the description of handicraft. Not being produced as a hobby, they do not qualify as arts and crafts. Not (until very recently) being produced by a dedicated full-time worker, but rather being part of a general repertoire of skills, they have not been produced for sale by an artisan class of makers. The exceptions to the latter would be the wheelwrights, saddle-makers and blacksmiths.

Examples of rural crafts would be:

Basket making (for carrying)

Basket trap making (for catching animals, e.g.: eels)

Hurdle making

Hay crib making

Spinning yarn

Hedge laying



Charcoal burning

Dry stone walling

Cob walling


Pond making

Coracle making

Boundary marker making (e.g.: stone cairns)A wide variety of joinery construction in wood was also practiced, from tool-making through gate-making and wheel-making, to full-scale barn building. Some add skills such as beekeeping and path laying to the list of rural crafts. In coastal areas, there are additional crafts associated with the sea; such as net making for fishing, and small boat making.

Rural crafts will tend to vary in their styles from place to place, and will thus often contribute strongly to a sense of place.

Offering training courses in, and demonstrations of, rural crafts is now becoming a viable job in some parts of the British Isles, and thus contributing to the development of tourism. Artists such as Andy Goldsworthy are also exploring the artistic possibilities of applying rural crafts techniques to the making of outdoor sculptural art.

The rural crafts are to be distinguished from the pseudo-primitive "rustic" handicraft goods often seen in rural gift shops.

Scaphium affine

Scaphium affine is a tree species in the family Malvaceae, subfamily Sterculioideae (previously placed in the Sterculiaceae and synonyms include Sterculia lychnophora Hance). It is native to mainland Southeast Asia and no subspecies are listed in the Catalogue of Life.It may be known as the malva nut tree, or sometimes the "Taiwan sweet gum tree" and has culinary and traditional medicinal uses, although these may also apply to the similar Scaphium macropodum (Vietnamese: ươi).

Walnut production in Nepal

The walnut (Jugans spp.) is a softwood tree grown and used worldwide for medicinal purposes, for its timber, and most for its eponymous fruit. The walnut species found in Nepal is Juglans regia, which is known locally as okhar.The okhar tree is native to the mountainous areas of Central Asia, including Nepal. It is grown in the country's High Mountains region with an elevation of 1000- 4000 m. Walnut trees can be found across the temperate regions of the country as well.In Nepal, one of the primary uses of the Okhar tree is the harvesting of its fruit. Although rarely used as a commercial crop, the walnut has been used as a traditional indigenous medicine and as a subsistence food item. In Nepal the nuts and bark have been used to treat skin disorders among other ailments. Aryal, Berg & Ogle, 2009 also reference the religious use of the walnut. Walnuts are one of the uncultivated foods of Nepal that have shown to be profitable, although not widespread for low income individuals. Nepalese law forbids the cutting down of walnut trees and the sale of walnut lumber.


Wildcrafting (also known as foraging) is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or 'wild' habitat, primarily for food or medicinal purposes. It applies to uncultivated plants wherever they may be found, and is not necessarily limited to wilderness areas. Ethical considerations are often involved, such as protecting endangered species, potential for depletion of commonly held resources, and in the context of private property, preventing theft of valuable plants, for example, ginseng.

When wildcrafting is done sustainably and with proper respect, generally only the fruit, flowers or branches from plants are taken and the living plant is left, or if it is necessary to take the whole plant, seeds of the plant are placed in the empty hole from which the plant was taken. Care is taken to remove only a few plants, flowers, or branches, so plenty remains to continue the supply. The Association of Foragers believes that foraging by people plays an increasingly important role supporting, promoting and defending the health of all plants, fungi, algae, animals (including humans) and the habitats/environments in which they exist. Plants for a Future database lists 7000 plants with edible, medicinal or other uses. In the USA, the mission of United Plant Savers is to protect native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada (such as Goldenseal) and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come.Four states and five national forests in America actively manage the wild harvesting of ginseng to ensure sustainability of wild populations. In Europe, non-wood forest products (e.g., forest fruits, mushroom, cork, pine kernels, acorns, medicinal herbs, essential oils, chestnuts etc.) can be significant in the bioeconomy, especially in regions where wood is not the most profitable product. These were examined during a four year study called The StarTree Project which assessed the wildcrafting of non-timber forest products across 14 regions of Europe to explore best practice and commercial opportunities.There is no evidence that foraging in small amounts for personal use by people and their families has any impact on populations of plants and fungi. However, once a species attracts widespread commercial interest it can quickly come under pressure if sustainable harvesting and management procedures are not followed. A case in point is Arnica, a medicinal species made into homeopathic remedies and highly popular first aid creams for bumps and bruises. It is now under strict protection and is included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and in the Red Data Books and Red Data Lists of many European countries. Despite the loss of habitats, Arnica is mainly harvested from the wild. Dried flowers traded annually in Europe are estimated to be around 50 tonnes. The collection of Arnica for medicinal purposes has also caused disappearance or reduction in the size of several European populations. The pressure on natural sources of this plant is alleviated by a suitable use of Arnica supply in the European region, where flower heads are harvested.

Non-timber forest products
Animal products
Edible plants / roots
Sap / Gum / etc.
Ecology and

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