Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) include a myriad of products that have been extracted from forests around the world for millennia (Table 1.1). Because most of these products are consumed locally they used to be called "minor forest products," disregarding their importance. In many countries NTFP extraction can be a major economic activity. For example, in India NTFPs are a critical component of the economic activity of about 500 million people living in or around forests. In the 1970s, the economic value of NTFPs in India surpassed that of timber sales, and currently export earnings from NTFPs account for 60-70% of total exports from forest products (Thadani 2001).
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