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The Value of Wild Plants

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are wild plant and animal products harvested from forests, such as wild fruits, vegetables, nuts, edible roots, honey, palm leaves, medicinal plants, poisons and bush meat. Millions of people – especially those living in rural areas in developing countries – collect these products daily, and many regard selling them as a means of earning a living.

This Agrodok presents an overview of the major commercial wild plant products from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. It explains their significance in traditional health care, social and ritual values, and forest conservation. It is designed to serve as a useful source of basic information for local forest dependent communities, especially those who harvest, process and market these products. We also hope that this Agrodok will help arouse the awareness of the potential of NTFPs among development organisations, local NGOs, government officials at local and regional level, and extension workers assisting local communities.

Version 1, 2006