Innovative extension methods used along the Capim River
Role play with actors representing a logger, a farmer and a fruit merchant showed how the value of a harvested tree was exceeded by the value of only seven pieces of fruit picked from the same tree.
Villagers identified common ailments and plants that could be used to remedy them. This led to the election of 14 plants from which a natural products pharmacy was created, and a woman from the community became responsible for collecting a particular bark, root or oil.
This activity was supported by village theatre in which a sick woman was lured into buying allopathic medicines when a bark or leaf found in her backyard could have cured her woes.
A comparison of market prices and yields of forest fruits with prices paid for wood by loggers led to modest attempts to sell fruits in local markets; vendors learned how to select, package and advertise their produce as well as how to locate their stand and set prices.
Invitations by neighbouring communities under threat from logging pressure led to the organization of travelling workshops directed by community residents (principally women) and a researcher, and to forest walks with host communities. These activities were supported by a village theatre skit in which local community members are tricked into exchanging logging rights for large areas for products or services of lower value (e.g. logging rights to 20 ha for an improved cooking stove).
Illustrated booklets on forest plant species offer relevant ethnobotanical, ecological and market information in a format accessible to illiterate as well as literate community members.
Posters with images of and information on family members were made by the audience to gauge their NWFP consumption and its value; these incomes of logged-out and forested communities were subsequently compared, showing the superiority of the latter.