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      From Potentials to Reality: Transforming Africa’s Food Production : Investment and policy priorities for sufficient, nutritious and sustainable food supplies 


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      Peter Lang

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          Forests provide direct and indirect benefits to human beings around the globe (Angelsen et al., 2014; Paumgarten, 2005). Particularly in Africa where the majority of the population (59 %) lives in rural areas (World Bank, 2020d), people derive a substantial share of their livelihood from forests directly. According to data from the Poverty and Environment Network (PEN), forest and environmental products and services contribute on average over 40 % to the total annual income of selected rural households in nine African countries. Forests alone represent the second most important source of household income after crop production in the African PEN subsample (Figure 3.4.1). Case study evidence further suggests that some African communities derive more than 30 % of their annual household income from direct forest uses (Appiah et al., 2009; Babulo et al., 2008; Gatiso and Wossen, 2015; Tieguhong and Nkamgnia, 2012). Forests support livelihoods in Africa by directly enabling local communities to meet their basic needs in terms of timber, fibre, firewood, medicinal plants and wild food (wild fruits, vegetables, meat, etc.). Particularly for poorer households, wild food is the main source of macronutrients and protein, and plays a crucial role in improving the nutritional quality of their diets. For example, bush-meat contributes between 20 and 90 % of the animal protein obtained by rural households in Western Africa (ACET, 2014).

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