Small and medium forest enterprises

For most people living in rural areas forests and trees are sources of food, fuel, fodder, medicines, and building materials as well as cash income. The poorer rural people, the more dependent on forest they are.

FAO assists communities and individuals in developing income-generating tree and forest product enterprises. Having an income generating forest enterprise nurture a local forestry culture to sustainably manage and protect the resource this enterprise is based upon.

Small and medium scale forest enterprises (SMFE) are designed with the help of participatory methodologies such as Market Analysis & Development (M A & D) and operate, when applicable, with community-based forestry. Successful SMFE are, depending on type, linked to coequal participation including gender aspects, secure forest tenure, available financing, and an enabling policy framework including on-the-ground sustainable forest management support.

Market Analysis and Development 

Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) is a participatory training methodology that aims to assist people in developing forest-based income-generating enterprises while conserving natural resources.  

Forest Connect

Forest Connect is an international alliance dedicated to avoiding deforestation and reducing poverty by better linking small and medium forest enterprises to each other, to markets, to service providers, and to policy processes.

Other activities

  • Support the establishment and/or reinforcement of Forest Producer Associations for Small and Medium Forest Enterprises
  • Contribute to better functioning business development and financial services for SMFEs
  • Assist in shaping a more enabling policy environment for SMFEs
  • Facilitate training of trainers for enhancing small forest enterprises based on MA&D processes



Small-scale forest enterprises in Latin America

Small-scale forest enterprise development in Nepal 

In the news

Related FAO sites


Magnus Grylle
Senior Forestry Officer

Tel.: +39 06 57051339

Jose Diaz
Forestry Officer

Tel.: +39 06 57050683

last updated:  Wednesday, October 2, 2019