The study was carried out in three Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) in Achham district of Nepal. This paper examines the benefits and costs incurred by three income class households (HHs) from Community Forest (CF) over a period of 10 years using semi-structured interviews with 212 randomly selected HHs and 3 sub-group discussions. The findings of the research reveal that the rich HHs derived the highest mean annual gross benefit (35.23%) followed by middle (32.47%) and poor (32.30%) income class HHs respectively. Likewise, rich HHs incurred the highest mean annual gross cost (49.82%) followed by middle (30.47%) and poor (19.71%) income class HHs respectively. Overall, benefits gained by the HHs was 17 times the cost incurred. While benefits from forest products constituted the highest share (97.26%) of benefits, conversely, forest product collection costs constituted the highest share (53.33%) of costs . The results of the research also suggest that rich HHs received the highest Net Present Value (US$ 2537.80) followed by poor (US$ 2504.11) and middle (US$ 2463.89) income class HHs over 10 years at 10% discount rate. The Benefit Cost Ratio for poor, middle and rich income class HHs was found to be 25.52, 16.32 and 11.14 respectively. Household level income from CF is significantly influenced by many bio-physical, economic and demographic variables. The analytical results suggested that education of HH head, distance to CF boundary from user’s home, age of HH head, and HH economic status were statistically significant and showed the negative linear relationship wth HH income from CF. On other hand, livestock unit and HH labor force were statistically significant as expected a priori and showed linear relationship with HH income from CF. Based on these findings, appropriate cost-benefit sharing mechanism were suggested with regular silvicultural operations to empower poor households in CF activities.
Community Forest, Benefit, Cost, Benefit-Cost Ratio, Household Level, Wealth class, CF management, Mid-hill, Determinant of CF income
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