Community-based forest enterprise development
Support to the participative management of forest resources, based on wildlife and forest products: Building entrepreneurial capacity and marketing skills for pro-poor tree products enterprises development in Mali
Association "Sabali", Village Kokelé
PROJECT OBJECTIVES and DESCRIPTION: Mali is among the poorest countries in the world. The majority of the population lives in rural areas and is heavily dependent on agriculture and highly vulnerable to seasonal food shortages and crop failure due to an increasingly erratic climate, with few opportunities to diversify the rural economy. Rural communities suffer from their geographical isolation from markets and poor transport and communications infrastructure, and as a result, market chains are poorly coordinated and producers are not well-organized to negotiate a better deal in the marketplace. Though there are still significant forest resources in Mali, they are under pressure from unsustainable land uses that threaten environmental security. Most commonly used are the Non Wood Forest Products (NWFP), which are found back in indigenous trees/shrubs in parkland agroforests. With population increases and agricultural intensification, these forest resources are becoming increasingly depleted. To reverse this trend, rural communities need clear incentives to invest in sustainable forest management. They also need to establish the right to manage the forest resources upon which they depend.
The primary objective of this project is to assist the Government of Mali in the promotion of sustainable management of the natural resources and integration of rural population for the mitigation of poverty. It is meant to improve the poor linkages of producers with urban markets and help in coordinating the multiple actors along the product chains.
PROJECT PARTNERS AND STAKEHOLDERS:
- Direction Nationale de la Conservation de la Nature (DNCN) of the government of Mali, the NGO Sahel Eco and three local NGOs: Mara, Pacindha and AJE-Mali, other local NGOs and ICRAF West Africa
- rural groups and associations, professional/producer organisations, private sector, public sector, government services, research institutions, education and training institutions, local communities/CBO’s.
ACTIVITIES: To address the project component on enhancing small forest enterprise development, FAO and project partners launched a pilot for promotion of community-based enterprises based on NWFPs. The pilot areas are situated in the regions of Sikasso and Koulikoro. Additionally, 2 other local NGO's and ICRAF West Africa attended the specific trainings on the Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) approach.
The expected results are the following: a) Provide rural producers, traders and processors with the necessary skills to protect, coordinate, finance and organize their small scale enterprises based on sustainable use of forest resources; b) Ensure that rural producers, traders and processors are well informed on the access to markets, professional and financial services; c) Better understanding of SMFEs among NGOs, public and private sectors; d) Government action to improve the institutional environment, so that SMFEs have higher chances of survival; e) Document best practices to support the future development of SMFEs within the region.
The project works in close collaboration with an European Commission project coordinated by Tree Aid and executed in Mali by Sahel Eco. The regions of intervention of the EC project are Ségou and Mopti.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND OUTCOMES: The MA&D trainings from phase 1 to phase 3 were completed. Local communities developed 23 Enterprise Development Plans focused on the transformation and/or commercialization of Shea Butter, Detarium fruits and Honey.
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