SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTIONS OF SELECTED NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCT (LOCUST BEAN) TO THE LIVELIHOOD OF TRADERS IN YEWA DIVISION OF OGUN STATE.
Abstract:The African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa) is mostly a wild-growing crop-tree whose fruit possesses widespread food and non-food usefulness throughout West Africa. This study elicits the socio-economic factors affecting the livelihood of locust beans traders in Yewa Division of Ogun State. Multi-stage random approach was employed through questionnaire and interviews to collect information from one hundred and twenty (120) locust beans traders. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis. The results revealed that all (100.0) the locust beans traders sampled were female and they obtained locust bean seeds from Ibadan market (97.5%) due to the relative abundance of the trees in the region. The major NTFPs available in the study area as indicated by the locust beans traders are food (100.0%), Charcoal (100.0%), fruits (99.2%), Fuel-wood (98.3%), Honey (97.5%), Medicinal herbs (96.7%) and Bush-meat (95.0%). The gross margin and net income of the trading business were NGN 9,718.33 and NGN 8,335.00, respectively. The benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 1.64 implies that every ₦1 invested in locust bean trading yielded ₦0.64 profit. These reveal that the enterprise was profitable as it yielded extra income over the investments into the business. Generally, it is evident that the return from the trading of Locus beans is higher than the cost of production. Thus, it can be concluded that Locust bean trading is a profitable and lucrative business in the study area which can be embarked upon with little start-up capital. It was therefore recommended that an evaluation of the genetic constitution and production capacity of Parkia biglobosa populations within the entire area of distribution is needed as a basis for developing sustainable management systems as this will reduce the purchase cost.