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Poverty Reduction and Human Health Improvement Strategies in Developing Countries: The Role of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) Farming in Ghana

Friday, 23 September, 2011 - 14:00
Campus: Brussels Health Campus
Faculty: Medicine and Pharmacy
auditorium R. Vanden Driessche
Albert Ahenkan
phd defence

Eradicating poverty and improving nutrition and
health and achievement of the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) are among the
greatest global challenges facing the world today.
Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) have been
widely promoted among conservation and
development organisations as a potential solution
to the current high rates of malnutrition, poor
health of rural populations and the spread and
intensification of poverty, especially in the
developing countries. Despite their importance,
NTFPs have received very little attention in
research, development planning and human
health improvement strategies in Ghana. Their
vital role in empowering rural and forest
dependent communities and their linkage with
poverty reduction, nutrition and health has not
been adequately investigated. This study was
conducted in Bibiani-Bekwai and Sefwi Wiawso
Districts of the Western Region of Ghana with the
objective of examining the potential contribution
of NTFPs farming to human development through
the enhancement of nutrition, human health,
food security, poverty reduction and sustainable
management of forest resources. The results of
the study reveal that the farming of NTFPs on a
permanent basis will enormously help to create
more sustainable employment and incomegeneration
opportunities in rural and forest
dependent communities, enhance food security,
nutrition, human health, livelihoods and empower
rural women in the study locations and Ghana in
general. The study provides an appropriate model
to facilitate the diffusion of effective strategies for
promoting NTFPs farming and improving nutrition
and health, poverty reduction in Ghana.

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