Smallholder timber plantations may offer opportunities for farmers to increase their income. Nonetheless, such opportunities are often lost largely due to unfavorable regulations imposed on harvesting and marketing of timber. Adverse impacts are worsened because the regulations are not effectively communicated to smallholder farmers. We assessed the level of smallholder knowledge of existing regulations and found it very low. In part, this correlated to their socio-demographic characteristics. Poor literacy skills and a low level of education make it difficult for older farmers’ to increase their knowledge. This is compounded by the limited information channels that can reach the farmers. Improving smallholders’ knowledge by providing information concerning markets and regulations in a timely and clear manner could help smallholders exercise coping strategies and priorities when selling their timber that would in turn reduce the negative impacts of regulations. The roles of village authorities could be crucial. They are close to the smallholders and could channel the information. The government could provide training and incentives for them to be more active in communicating the regulations to the smallholders.
Topic: education, certification, smallholders, farmers, timbers, regulations
Publication Year: 2017
Source: Small-scale Forestry 16(1): 119-131