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Economic significance of wild bioresources to rural communities in the Eastern Himalayan state of Assam, Northeast India

Chaudhury, G and Basumatari, M and Darji, CB and Ahmed, AF and Borah, D and Sah, RK and Devi, A and Hazarika, N and Dutta, G (2021) Economic significance of wild bioresources to rural communities in the Eastern Himalayan state of Assam, Northeast India. In: Trees, Forests and People, 5 .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tfp.2021.100102


Wild bioresources are indispensable for the survival and sustenance of ethnic and rural communities, especially those of Northeast (NE) India which has a rich heritage of indigenous traditional knowledge on biodiversity and bioresources. This study investigates the trade of wild bioresources throughout the Eastern Himalayan state of Assam along with the socioeconomic attributes of the communities involved in the trade system. Surveys and interviews were executed in local markets and village households. Interviews were carried out with vendors and consumers in 30 weekly markets, and with household heads in 550 households using open-ended structured questionnaires. A systematic database on species diversity, distribution, use pattern, availability, local market economics and community details was assembled, from which standard values of commodities were computed to facilitate uniformity of market values. The study recorded 5 species of wild edible mushrooms, 158 species of wild plants and 11 species of animals available in local markets. Among these 78.7 are consumed as food, while 77 of the total species are medicinal. In some markets, products of species like Amaurornis phoenicurus, Canarium strictum, Elaeocarpus ganitrus, Hystrix indica, Lentinus polychrous, L. squarrosulus, Ocimum basilicum, Piper longum and Termitomyces sp., were sold at a high price of 6.5�65 USD/kg. It was observed that trading wild bioresources contributes 5�75 to the total income at a majority of the households. The present study highlights that wild bioresources are indeed significant for the subsistence of rural communities in Assam, with the potential of improving local economies and promoting community development. Through effective policies and conservation strategies, local communities should be encouraged and empowered to sustainably manage biodiversity and bioresources in the wake of climate change. © 2021

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Trees, Forests and People
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Authors
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2021 11:40
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 11:40
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/69458

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