An estimation of willingness to pay for asparagus (Asparagus racemosus Willd.) collectors in Makawanpur District, Nepal

https://doi.org/10.17221/3099-JFSCitation:Maraseni T.N., Maroulis J., Cockfield G. (2008): An estimation of willingness to pay for asparagus (Asparagus racemosus Willd.) collectors in Makawanpur District, Nepal. J. For. Sci., 54: 131-137.
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The collection and sale of asparagus (Asparagus racemosus Willd.) is a major source of income for Praja and Tamang castes around the Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP) in Nepal. However, the forests where asparagus is harvested are becoming depleted threatening the livelihood of collectors. To address this issue, at sustainable harvesting practices, the research reported here applied the contingent valuation method (bidding game) and estimated the average willingness to pay (WTP) of collectors to two asparagus collection scenarios. In the first scenario, if forests under the Department of Forests jurisdiction were managed for sustainable harvesting at 1995 rates, the average WTP of collectors was 4.4 NR/kg. In the second scenario, if the forest in the RCNP is managed in such a way that both the current harvesting rate of asparagus is sustained and they are legally allowed to collect asparagus at the present rate, the average WTP of collectors was 8.35 NR/kg. Consequently, there is a good chance of earning revenue for the government and sustaining the livelihood of asparagus dependents by the sustainable management of the Department’s and the National Park’s forests and giving legal permissions to collect asparagus from the National Park, which would have happened anyway but with financial and legal risks to collectors.

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