Research abstract

Assessing the socio-economic significance of commercialization of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for rural households in or adjacent forest environments.

Due to commercialization, NTFPs have gained both use value and exchange value thus improving purchasing power of rural households. This however results in increased demand for labour for their production. With rural households facing varying labour demands across seasons and productive activities both on-farm and off-farm, it is important to understand how various institutions have evolved and shaped NTFP commercialization. Four wards in and adjacent GNP will be selected for this study. The four wards making the study area is comprised of a ward located inside the park which is state property, Small-scale Commercial Farms which fall under private property, communal area which fall under common property and resettlement area which falls under semi-state property regime. A questionnaire survey will be used to collect primary data across a sample of 250 households. Secondary data will be obtained from the national parks office, meteorological department, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Rural district offices and ministry of tourism. Both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies will be used in the study. Quantitative data will be analysed using both lower order and higher order econometric tools while data from focus group discussions will be analysed using qualitative comparative analysis. Expected results are that institutions currently governing harvesting of NTFPs in Zimbabwe need to evolve to meet current economic changes and to sustain commercialization of NTFPs.