The study on stand structure and density of NTFP trees is indicated in Table 6. Garcenia gummi-gutta showed the highest density in Hosthota(14.2) followed by Chiksuli(11.2) and Devgaar (13.1). Myristica dactyloides showed highest density in Devgaar(13.1) followed by Chiksuli(4.2) and Kodgi (2.6). Hosthota showed highest density of Mangefera indica(2.8) while the density of Myristica malabarica being high in Devgaar(2.2) and Garcenia morella being high in Hosthota(21.0). Densities of Piper nigrum, Entada scandens, and Canerium strictum remained negligible in all the areas while Kodgi showed comparatively higher density of Artocarpus lakoocha(0.6).
Table 6. Showing densities of specific NTFP in different areas of ACR
Every household mostly used Open flame oven in the area for processing Uppage. The consumption of firewood was very high to process the rind of Uppage. The firewood consumption at every household was highly variable showing the average consumption to be 22kg/unit kg. dry rind.
The different types of oven used in adjacent areas, their firewood consumption and cost of production have been collected from different sources and the forest department as shown in Table 7. Modern ovens and community driers have been sporadically distributed sporadically by forest department and other governmental and non-governmental organizations under different schemes at a very small scale. The data collection on their effectiveness and suitability is ongoing. Suggestions to the forest department on addressing the drawbacks and limitations are in process. The major drawback of Community driers have been their high cost of production and high maintenance cost. However there are very notable advantages in Community driers such as less fuel consumption due to minimal loss of heat. Another major advantage of the community driers is that agricultural waste can be majorly used as fuel thereby reducing fuel wood consumption from the forest. There is also a very notable improvement in quantity and quality of the product and minimal fire accidents.
Table 7. Showing details of different types of oven used, its fuel efficiency and cost of production. (Source: Karnataka Forest Department)
Firewood consumption(kg)/kg dry rind
Cost of production of Oven (INR)
3 side closed oven
The feasibility of distribution of Community driers to individual households has been explored. Constant interaction with people, forest department and market has been established for implementation of required steps for sustainable harvesting. In addition to interactions, effective patrolling by forest department during harvest season has decreased the rate of unripe fruit harvest marginally. Data collection is ongoing on the effectiveness of such attempts on harvesting by people.
Another possible model for processing of Uppage rind has been the liquefaction of raw rind using crushers during the harvesting period. Although the harvesters are keen on the idea of liquefaction due to less labour involvement and no firewood required, it is problematic for transportation of the same to processing firms. There is a need to find a way for bearing the transportation cost during the season. The market demand for the Uppage juice concentrate is to be explored in addition to concerns regarding its preservation. Some attempts in liquefaction and processing done by local people on experimental basis have not been viable in the market due to various reasons such as preservation. The attempts for the success of this model is been explored parallely.
Installing of Governing body
A major outcome of the models to be implemented have been the elimination of middle men from trading of NTFP. The direct selling of NTFP collected by people to the market through Village Forest Committees (VFC) could be the most feasible and effective method to ensure better income to harvesters. Interactions with the respective administrative range officers of the forest department in installing additional VFC in required areas is under process. Decentralization of the tendering process from the present range and divisional level to the level of VFCs could be a major step for ensuring control over the extraction process ensuring higher income to harvesters in addition to sustainability. The addressal of issues of already installed VFC for NTFP tendering in terms of effectiveness and functioning is under scrutiny in all the 4 ranges of Aghanashini Lion-tailed macaque Conservation Reserve (ACR).
Marketing of NTFP.
The interactions with one of the major processing industry has been accomplished. The industry has ensured marginally better market price for the Uppage rind bypassing the middle men. However efforts are concentrated towards feasibility of marketing liquefied to the industry. A survey of other processing firms and industries that buy products have been accomplished. Further interactions need to be established subsequently.