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Domestic market potential for tree products from farms and rural communities: Experience from Cameroon

Domestic market potential for tree products from farms and rural communities: Experience from Cameroon

Fereday, N., Gordon, A. and Oji, G. (1997) Domestic market potential for tree products from farms and rural communities: Experience from Cameroon. NRI Socio-economic Series, 13 . Natural Resources Institute, Chatham, UK. ISBN 0859544893

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This publication summarizes the results of research carried out by NRI in Cameroon during 1995-96 on the domestic market potential for tree products from farms and rural communities. The study arose from concern that agroforestry projects, which generally aim to reduce the pressure on natural forests by planting trees on farmland, were inadequately addressing the associated marketing needs. As a consequence, many of the projects were failing. The research reported here sought to characterize the markets for non-timber tree products (NTTPs) and highlight constraints to the development of markets for traditional and emerging NTTPs. The research in Cameroon was paralleled by a study in the Brazilian Amazon carried out by IFPRI; ODA provided funding for both studies. The work began with an inventory of products and subsequent identification of marketing chains. Four products were selected as case studies and were used to explore issues relating to valued added, domestication and the role of NTTPs as sources of income. The marketing of the four products was well-established and appeared to be relatively competitive, in spite of some concerns over lack of information at farmer level. There was growing demand for the products, apparently matched by increasing supply. The wholesalers, who source the products in the forest fringe communities and sell them on to retailers, were the most dynamic links in the marketing chains. The impetus to domesticate NTTPs seemed always to be farmer-driven, and occurred when a product important for subsistence and income needs was not readily available from the forest. However, the role of NTTPs within the farming system is important; they must fit into a complex strategy which includes seasonal smoothing of income, production and labour needs. Also, tree-planting is a long-term investment which is unlikely to be undertaken if land tenure is insecure. In conclusion, areas are highlighted for future research. These include: technical aspects of cultivation, processing and storage; identification of products which will be in greater demand as a result of urbanization; the role of NTTPs in the livelihood strategies of particularly vulnerable groups (including the landless) in the forest fringe communities.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: © The University of Greenwich 1997
Uncontrolled Keywords: market, tree products, farm, rural, Cameroon, agroforestry, forestry, forest, marketing, livelihood, processing, non-timber forestry products
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
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Last Modified: 26 Nov 2019 13:18

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