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Non-wood forest products (NWFPs) are one of the major sources of food and income for rural populations in Tanzania.
The most important NWFPs are fodder, honey, beeswax, cloves, cinnamon, nuts, fruits, medicinal plants and aromatic herbs.
However the perceptions of the economic importance of NWFPs is affected by several factors such as low prices, season, poor road infrastructure, lack of organisation among producers, lack of financial capital, education, distance from households to the forest, laws and regulations imposed by forest management regimes.
On the other hand, the nature of supply chain that exists deprives local communities the chance to earn more income from selling their products.
It is suggested that local communities organise themselves into a cooperative in order to have greater bargaining power.
Likewise efforts should also be made to institutionalise all NWFPs activities with a well-organised marketing channel and marketing information base.
Gwagilo completed his MSc Degree in Forest Science and Business from the University of Helsinki.
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