Can Smallholder Tree Farmers Help Revive the Timber Industry in Deforested Tropical Countries? A Case Study from Southern Philippines uri icon

abstract

  • In many countries of South and South-east Asia trees planted on farms are becoming the most important source of wood. In the Philippines, forestry statistics indicate that since 1999 between 50 percent to 70 percent of the log production came from planted trees because of misdirected policies on natural forests. Today, there are in northern Mindanao 135 active small-scale sawmills (SSS) exclusively supplied with farm-grown timber. These have an estimated log utilization potential of 111,064 m3 yearâ??1 and a sawn timber production potential of 76,596 m3 yearâ??1. However, the Philippine government has not duly acknowledged yet, the importance of timber production by smallholder farmers and their contribution to sustain the wood industry. Existing policies disincentive tree planting and the marketing of farm-grown timber. This chapter explores the importance and the potential of smallholder farmers to sustain the wood industry by characterizing the producers and the timber produced, and describing the structure of the market of farm-grown timber. The study was conducted among farmers in Claveria, northern Mindanao and wood processing plants located in Cagayan de Oro City and its neighbouring municipalities. Evidence is provided that most of the planted trees used by the wood industry in the region and sold in national and international markets are produced on-farm. This shows that smallholder farmers can produce large quantities of timber and efficiently supply local and national markets. The Philippine government and the wood industry sector must recognize the role of smallholder farmers as land managers and efficient producers of many important agricultural commodities, including timber

publication date

  • 2008
  • 2008