Scheduled Tribes (STs), have their own cultural norms, social systems and institutions. In terms of economic pursuits, they are very much dependent on nature,
especially forests and forest produce, to eke out their livelihoods. An important source of livelihoods for people living in forested areas, are non-wood forest products,
generally termed ‘Non Timer Forest Produce (NTFP)’. These include bamboo, canes, fodder, leaves, gums, waxes, dyes, resins and many forms of food including nuts,
wild fruits, honey, etc. The NTFP provide both subsistence and cash income for people who live in or near forests. They form a major portion of their food, fruits,
medicines and other consumption items and also provide cash income through sale. Some MFPs, especially bamboo and tendu leaf, have significant commercial importance.
MFPs comprise a huge variety of products in terms of usage, availability, value and quality. NTFPs vary from being an intoxicant variety like mahuwa to being of medicinal importance like nuxvomica and pungam seed;
from being food items like tamarind and chironji to being used as industrial raw material like gum, myrobolans, etc; from having general household usage like brooms to being used in jewelry making like lac.