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1. Introduction

Some “non-forestry” tree plantations established by the agricultural rather the forestry sector, are of increasing importance for the supply of industrial fibres. The three main species of potential interest are rubber, coconut and oil palm. A number of other tree crops, sometimes used in agroforestry systems, are usually of greater importance to local people for the supply of domestic roundwood or woodfuel than for industrial use - these are not covered in this report.

The reported area of these three species is about one-third of forest plantation area in the tropics and subtropics. In the case of rubber and coconut the planted areas of each of these species rival the area of eucalypt plantations.

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