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SESSION 2

Product development and policy/institutional issues

 


NWFP production in the project villages in Turkey
(Beykavagi, Dulgerler, Kupluce)

E. Yazici, Assistant National Coordinator
FAO (GCP/INT/539/ITA)

 

INTRODUCTION

The project on "Forestry and Food Security in the Mediterranean and the Near East Region", (GCP/INT/539/ITA), covers three countries namely Syria, Jordan and Turkey. The first phase of the project commenced in 1992 and finished in 1995. The second phase terminated in 1998. Within the framework of its agreement with the Government of Italy, FAO is assisting in the implementation of the project. The contribution of the donor government (Italy) is estimated to be about 2.5 million US$. In Turkey, the villages of Beykavagi, Kupluce and Dulgerler in the Konya Province have been selected as project pilot villages.

The project aims to establish an integrated forest and range resource management approach in the three countries based on people’s participation. The project promotes this approach through four main components:

The approach adopted in the second phase is both participatory, in terms of involving local communities with the aim of sharing responsibilities and benefits, and integrated, in so far as it emphasizes the multiple use of the resources as well as the interdisciplinary, interdepartmental character of the efforts needed. In order to ensure the participation of people in the conservation of natural resources, specific critical areas were selected as pilot sites where deterioration of the vegetation cover had already affected people’s life directly. The approach adopted combines environmental conservation measures with the development of income earning activities in order that the local people can derive tangible benefits from the project.

In line with this strategy, the project gives priority to the NWFP as a way to increase the villagers' income and ensure sustainable utilization of the natural resources. Several activities related to the use and development of NWFP have been carried out in project pilot villages. These include development of fodder crops, fruit and nuts, seedlings, production of honey and mushrooms.

 

THE MOST IMPORTANT NWFP IN THE PROJECT AREA

Honey

The project area is placed between Central Anatolia, that has a semi-arid climate, and the Mediterranean region, characterized by a milder climate. Due to the existing diversity of climatic conditions, the project area contains very rich flora including trees and shrubs such as Pinus nigria, Juniperus sp., Quercus sp., Cedrus Libani, Pistacia terebinthus, Cistus lavrifolius and Prunus amygdalus, and herbs such as Salvia officinalis, Thymus Seryllum, Orchis anatolica, Rhus cotinus and Astragallus alepecuroides. These plants are important for bee-keeping activites. Honey production is supported by the project by supplying beehives and swarms of bees, seedlings of multipurpose trees such as Robinia pseudoacacia, seeds of Sainfoin and Hungarian wetch, and by giving regular training on the subject. Fruit and nut trees are being planted on terraces to provide suitable food for bees.

Cultivated and wild mushrooms

Some wild mushrooms, notably Terfezia boudieri, are frequently found and collected from the forest areas. Most of the wild mushrooms collected are consumed in the village households and the surplus is sold at the market both in fresh and dried form. Mushroom cultivation is supported by the project by supplying mushroom sacks, providing training on both cultivation techniques and wild mushroom harvesting techniques, and helping villagers to market their products.

Medicinal and aromatic herbs

Important medicinal and aromatic herbs include Rhus cariaia, Thymus seryllum, Salvia officinalis, Nepeta cataria and Cistus aurifolius. These plants are mostly used for traditional health treatment, making tea and flavouring dishes. Among these, Rhus cariaia and pistacia terebinthus seeds are collected in large amounts and have a market value. The project is supporting this activity by training the villagers, especially women and children.

Walnut (Juglans regia)

Walnuts grow abundantly in the project area. Its fruits, leaves, pericarp, roots, etc. are commonly used for aromatic, medicinal and industrial utilization purposes. In order to improve walnut growing in the project area, some seedlings, including grafted seedlings, have been planted in the marginal areas with the active participation of the villagers.

Almond (Prunus amygdalus)

Almond is one of the most important multipurpose trees growing in the region. Fruits of the tree are collected by the villagers while still green or after maturing and are sold on the market. In the project area, most of the harvest of almonds is used for household consumption.

Capparis spinosa

It can grow in dry and bare soils where agriculture crop growing is not profitable. The plant gives fruit in the first year. Villagers collect the green buds of the plant before blooming. They keep them in 20-23% salty water for preservation. The plant has been introduced as a new NWFP in the project area.

Rose hip (Rosa canina)

It is a low demanding species which grows easily even in poor and arid lands. It tends to grow along roadsides and is cultivated at the periphery of garden plots. Another important characteristic of this plant is that its fruit contains vitamins C, A and B, organic acids, tannin and saccharine. Villagers collect its fruits and use them for making fruit juices, marmalades, jams, nectars and syrups. The rest is sold on the market.

Pistachio (Pistacia terebinthus)

Villagers collect the fruits of the tree in the August-September period. After collection, the fruits are dried under the sun. The villagers also produce "pistachio oil" from its fruits. Terebentin chiotica (gum) can be obtained from its stem. Pistacia vera can be grafted on Pistacia terebinthus and it produces pistachio.

Sumac (Rhus cotinus)

This plant is resistant to poor soil and grows on hillsides to prevent soil erosion. The leaves and fruits are very rich in myrisetin, oil and organic acids. After collection, the leaves are dried and sold on the market. In industry, it is mainly used for processing of hides. Local people also use its leaves and fruits as medicine and spices.

Cistus laurifolius

Cistus can be cultivated in Pinus nigra ecosystems and controls soil erosion in areas where over grazing, especially goat grazing, is evident. Leaves and flowers of the plant are currently being collected locally by the villagers and utilized for traditional health treatments. It has potential to develop into a drug raw material to be traded.

Forage

Because of existing limited and degraded range areas, young shoots and leaves of trees such as Quercus sp. and Pinus nigra are used by the villagers for winter feeding when the other feeding resources run out. It can be said that roughly 70% of the goat feeding, and 30% of the sheep feeding needs are supplied from the forest areas.

 

ACTIONS CARRIED OUT FOR IMPROVING NWFP PRODUCTION IN THE PROJECT AREA

Training and Extension

The project community forestry expert and the woman issues expert regularly meet with the village groups, including young women and children, to discuss project activities and encourage greater participation. Some extension materials such as booklets, handouts, videotapes etc. have been prepared and delivered to the villagers by the project. Several workshops and in-service training sessions on mushroom cultivation, bee keeping, agro-forestry techniques etc. have also been organized under the project.

Material and supplies

In order to promote NWFP production in the project villages, materials such as beehives, mushroom sacks and seeds have been purchased and delivered to the villagers.

 

RESULTS OBTAINED

As Table (1) shows, honey and mushroom production have increased to a very satisfactory level. The total production of cultivated mushroom in the project area has reached 3 827 kg. The table also points out that the number of trees in walnut plantations has increased with the help of the project. Walnut production in the project villages in 1996 was 3 350 kg. The Ministry of Forestry has started to plant walnut trees in forestry sites. The same applies to almond, rose hip and Capparis sp. plantations. Training on harvesting and marketing techniques also supported the production of other NWFP.

The project also identified plants that naturally grow in the area, such as Tilia cordata, Pistacia terebinthus, Capparis spionza, Rosa canina, Prunus amygdalus, Rhus cotinus and Cistus laurifolius, as products with a potential for sustainable economic growth in the future.

 

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Project level

NWFP play an important role as a source of income and food supply in addition to promoting the sustainable management of forest resources in the project area. NWFP activities are labour intensive with low capital requirements and are therefore well suited to the economic conditions of the villagers. Some specific recommendations can be summarized as follows:

  1. It is recommended to involve rural women and children who are primary collectors of NWFP, in all aspects of NWFP management and trained in product marketing and value-added processing techniques.
  2. It is recommended to establish cooperatives involved in the marketing of NWFP.
  3. It is recommended to introduce domesticated rose hip varieties through controlled breeding of good varieties of almond and walnut to the projects area.
  4. It is recommended to give more importance to Capparis sipinosa, as it is an effective erosion control plant and a good source of income source for villagers.
  5. It is recommended to grow Melissa officinalis (Common balm), Salvia officinalis (sage) and Salvia triloba (Sage of West Anatolia) in nurseries and then transfer them to the project sites.
  6. It is recommended to reduce uncontrolled harvesting of products through proper training and extension in order to achieve sustainable harvesting rates of the wild resources.
  7. It is recommended to clearly define land tenure issues strengthen institutional support for sustainable management of forest resources.

Regional level

The Near East region is characterized by limited forest resources. Over the years, these resources have been degraded by overuse and misuse by humans and animals. The existing unfavourable environmental conditions also helped to aggravate this situation.

It is therefore important today to try and alleviate the pressure exerted by forest villagers on the natural resources. This can be achieved through the promotion of activities such as development of NWFP, agroforestry and community forestry which both help to conserve the environment and provide an alternative source of income to the forest dwellers. Regional cooperation in this respect is essential, and FAO has an important role to play in linking national efforts in this field, through, amongst other possibilities, the organization of regional meetings and projects.

 

Table (1) : NWFP production in the project villages in 1996.

NWFP

Estimated Total Production in the Villages

Utilization
of the
Products (*)

  

Beykavaoy

Dulgerier

Kuplice

Total (kg)

  
Honey

2788

1116

1070

4976

H, S

Walnut (Junglans regia)

450

2250

650

3350

H, S

Capparis sipinoza

-

10

-

10

S

Cultivated Mushroom
Agaricus bisporus

2600

414

813

3827

H, S

Wild Mushroom.
Terfezia boudieri and others
              

Dried

75

90

115

280

H, S

Fresh

375

450

620

1445

H, S

Rosa Canina (Rosa hip)

150

450

450

1050

H, S, A

Prunus amygdalus (Almond)

-

475

185

660

H, S

Pistacia terebinthus

5

2400

1100

3505

H

Medicinal and Aromatic plants

Salvia officinalis

90

90

105

285

A

Nepeta cataria

60

60

70

190

A

Thymus seryllum

75

75

75

225

A

Tillia cordata

60

60

18

138

A

Veronica cymbalaria

35

35

32

102

A

Rubus fruticosus

-

200

12

212

H

Orchis anatolica

4

4

6

14

S

Rubus cotinus

3

1250

600

1853

H, S, M

Rumex tuberosus

3

5

4

12

H, S, M

Lactuca serriola

4

5

4

13

H

Cistus laurifolius

15

40

28

83

M

Verbascum pulverulentum

12

15

11

38

A, M

Viscum album

9

10

8

27

A, M

Onopardum illyricium

7

4

2

13

A, M

Urtica diocia

7

11

18

36

H, A, M

Portulaca oleracea

4

14

16

34

H, S

Rumex obtusifolius

10

22

25

57

H, S

Russella cestrum-elegans

-

14

12

26

H, S, M

Atropa belladonna

5

10

9

24

A, S, M

Posreiea butiminosa

14

24

44

82

H

Prunus spinosa

-

70

32

102

H

Ranunculus ticaria

4

8

6

18

A, S

Astragatlus atepecuroldes

9

12

11

32

A, M

Malva silvestris

-

11

11

29

H, S, M, A

(*)  

S = Sold on the market
M = Used for treatment
H = Household Consumption
A = Used for aromatic purposes

 


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