• If there is predictable resource availability and good marketing information, explore processing options near the location of forest resource to increase the value that producers receive for their product. For urban markets, explore market niches that a processed product might fill.

• Identify the scale of processing appropriate to the resource, product and enterprise skills. Household-scale processing options include food-drying and -packaging and handicrafts. Community-scale operations can process medicinal products, vegetable oils, soaps, dyes and tannins. Still more complex rural processing centres can produce turpentine, waxes and inputs for downstream industries.

• Start with pilot-scale production to test the process, product quality and market preferences. A pilot trial can also help in designing flexible facilities for processing several products, reducing costs for each one.

• Before starting a processing venture, learn about the regulations and quality standards to which processed goods are subject. Establish means for monitoring product quality. Public - private consortiums can transfer important information on standards and processing technologies from researchers to producers.

• Stay informed on processing research relating to the enterprise's product and substitute products. Pilot processing plants, information networks, national consortiums and regional research centres all provide options for this.


De Silva, T. and Atal, C.K. 1995. Processing, refinement and value addition of non-wood forest products. In Report of the expert consultation on non-wood forest products. FAO, Rome.

Falconer, J. 1992. Non-timber forest products in southern Ghana: a summary report. ODA Forestry Series No. 2. UK Overseas Development Authority, London.

FAO. 1995. Report of the expert consultation on non-wood forest products, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 17-27 January 1995. Non-Wood Forest Products 3. FAO, Rome.

IDRC. 1994. Medicinal plants network information. Xerox. International Development Research Centre, New Delhi.

Iqbal, M. 1993. International trade in non-wood forest products: an overview. Forest Products Working Paper 11. FAO, Rome.

Lintu, L. 1995. Trade and marketing of non-wood forest products. In Report of the expert consultation on non-wood forest products, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 17-27 January 1995. Non-Wood Forest Products 3. FAO, Rome.

Rice, D. 1994. Marketing multipurpose tree products: the Ikalahan experience. In Raintree, J.B. and Francisco, H.A., eds., Marketing of multipurpose tree products in Asia. Winrock International, Bangkok.

Shultes, R.E. 1992. Ethnobotany and technology in the Northwest Amazon: a partnership. In Plotkin, M. and Famolare, L., eds., Sustainable harvest and marketing of rain forest products. Conservation International, Washington, D.C.

WHO. 1991. Guidelines for the assessment of herbal medicines. Programme on Traditional Medicines, World Health Organization, Geneva.

Zuhud, Ervizal A.M. 1995. Sustainable utilization of medicinal plants and animals diversity in Indonesian tropical forests. Paper contributed to an FAO Expert Consultation on Non-Wood Forest Products, 17-27 January 1995, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Indonesian Tropical Institute Secretariat, Bogor, Indonesia.

For further reading

ATI. 1994. Opportunities in the coconut subsector: selected coconut processing options for small-scale producers. Appropriate Technology International and the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Washington, DC.

Coppen, J.J.W. and Hone, G.A., eds. 1992. Eucalyptus oils: a review of production and markets. Bulletin 56. Natural Resources Institute, Kent, UK.

FAO. 1987. Small-scale forest-based processing enterprises. Forestry Paper No. 79. FAO, Rome.

FAO. 1988. Silkworm rearing. Agricultural Services Bullettin No. 73/1.

FAO, 1988. Silkworm rearing. Agricultural Services Bullettin No. 73/2.

FAO. 1993. Chemical processing and utilisation of Acacia catechu. FAO/RAPA, Bangkok.

UNIDO. 1991. Design options for a polyvalent pilot plant unit for the distillation and extraction of medicinal and aromatic plants. Department for Industrial Promotion, Consultations and Technology. UNIDO, Geneva.

Zinkel, D.F. and Russell, J., eds. 1989. Naval stores: production, chemistry, utilization. Pulp Chemicals Association, New York. 1,060 pp.