FAO-CBFF: Contribution of Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
The economic crisis of the 1970s-1990s which rocked the world triggered a nosedive in the prices of cash crops such as coffee and cocoa. An immediate consequence was a decline in agricultural production which brought populations into a food crisis, while fostering the development of Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), whose importance is now a well established fact. Indeed, the exploitation of these products has enhanced the living conditions of local and indigenous communities.
For several decades, the vast array of FAO projects implemented have shown that NTFPs serve to advance the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as the sale of these products enables people to obtain food (Goal 1), educate their children (Goal 2), and gain access to health care (medical) (Goals 4 and 5). Thus, NTFPs should be viewed as an essential component of strategies to improve living conditions and household food security in Central Africa countries.
The FAO in its Circular Letter No. 2 of September 2014 highlights some outcomes from its NTFP Scale-Up projects implemented within the framework of partnerships between FAO and COMIFAC in Central Africa. The FAO circular encourages policymakers to include NTFPs more prominently in their strategies to reduce poverty and improve food security.
For more information on these outcomes, please see the circular note below: