Non-timber forest incomes and economic welfare in the South-West region of Cameroon: The incidence of rural income inequality
Abstract. With the aim of answering the question whether or not Non-Timber Forest Products can contribute in reducing rural income inequality in the South-West region of Cameroon, the study used primary data collected from a survey on 408 rural household heads. The Data was collected using a structured questionnaire. We adopted three different methodologies – The Gini Coefficient, The Lorenz curve, and The Income Decomposition by income sources to obtain identical results. The results revealed that incomes from non-timber forest products reduces rural income inequality in the rural parts of the region significantly, and occupy an important position amongst the different income sources which were investigated. We therefore recommend improved value-added for Non-Timber Forest Products through processing. A better management of the forest in general and the forest resources in particular will ensure improved benefits to the community as a whole especially in the areas of total income and income inequality..
Keywords. Economic Welfare, Rural Income Inequality, Non-Timber Forest Incomes, Gini Coefficient Income Decomposition by income sources and Cameroon.JEL. O11, E20, Q13, C30.
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