The University of Arizona

National Parks, coffee and NTFPs: the livelihood capabilities of Adivasis in Kodagu, India

Shrinidhi Ambinakudige


Protected Areas, as a conservation strategy, often constrain livelihood outcomes of groups that are less powerful, politically marginalized, and poor. At the same time, the poor often depend on a market economy that is volatile. Working on coffee plantations  and the collection of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are the two major livelihood options available for the Adivasi indigenous community in Kodagu, India. The article identifies the institutional factors at global, regional, or local levels that influence the livelihood capabilities of Adivasis. While the creation of a National Park negatively influenced almost all aspects of the Adivasis' livelihood, labor demand on coffee farms, and NTFP collection rights outside the Park provided them with some alternative resources.  But deregulation of the Indian coffee market made them more vulnerable to the market economy. The social relations between Adivasis and nearby farming communities have helped them to cope with risks to their livelihoods during crises and emergencies.

Key words: Livelihoods, Coffee, NTFP, Adivasis, LAMPS, Kodagu

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