ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 95 Number 3
Research Notes
Combating hidden hunger: the socio-economic roles of non-wood forest products
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This paper takes a cursory look at the concept of hidden hunger or micronutrient malnutrition; its forms, causes and as well beams light on the socio-economic roles of Non-Wood Forest Products (especially wild vegetables, fruits and insects) in curtailing the nutritional and health burdens of hidden hunger globally. The purpose of this paper is to create awareness on the availability and relative abundance of diverse natural products in the forest which possess essential micro-nutrients for adequate nutrition and good health among both rural and urban dwellers. It also shows the dual roles of Non-Wood Forest Products in terms of supplying the essential micro-nutrients which are usually inadequate in the diet of most people in developing world and as well offers of subsidiary income for purchasing other natural and man-made products that can supply the micro-nutrients when sold. Major Non-Wood Forest Products in different parts of Nigeria are highlighted alongside the already known socio-economic, nutritional and medicinal uses. The paper concludes that there is need for proper orientation and education of people on nutritional value of food intakes as well as health benefit related to consumption of local delicacies. This will in turn, curtail micro-nutrients malnutrition. The paper recommends the domestication and conservation of major Non-Wood Forest Products in various regions of the world for improved nutrition and better health which should be tailored towards poverty reduction among the people.

Keywords: Socio-economic; Poverty; Micro-nutrients; Non-Wood Forest Products;Malnutrition Forestry; Food Security; Socio-economics