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.
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