The Economics of Non-Timber Forest Products in Cameroon: The Case of ERU (Gnetum)


This paper seeks to understand the economics of non-timber forest products, especially Eru (Gnetum) in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. It uses descriptive and econometric approaches on a stratified random sample of 400 participants, complemented with information from literature to capture the objectives of investigation. Results of the study indicate that the demand for Eru is own-price, cross-price inelastic, income elastic; positively related to quality and highly consumed by male than female breadwinner of households in the study area. The study further recognizes the impediments such as shortage of infrastructures, lack of proper sanitation, frequent coercion on participants while conveying the product to the market, absence of government support to participants; and potentials for international trade gains for Cameroon. Thus, it is recommended that Cameroon formalize the Eru-trade with importing countries that export other goods whose demand in Cameroon is elastic to improve its balance of payments position and increase its volume of exports and imports.

Key words: Demand, Exploitation, Household, Gnetum, Forest, Cameroon.

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