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Small and medium forest enterprise - South Africa: A discussion paper

In South Africa, Small and Medium Forest Enterprises (SMFEs) vary with forest and product type. They are spread across the plantation sector and natural forests and woodlands. They involve both timber and non-timber forest products and services. Current policy, institutions, and financing arrangements do not generally create an enabling environment for SME establishment among the rural poor. Despite a number of government institutions to support and improve access to finance to SMEs, there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of these initiatives in the forest sector. There is therefore a strong rationale for an SME development programme that could significantly increase the human and social capital within poor rural communities in South Africa. The establishment of networks and partnerships between important role players and stakeholders will be critical. This study lays out some steps towards that end.

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The forestry sector in developing countries is dominated by small and medium sized forest enterprises. But the diverse range of these enterprises makes it difficult to understand the contribution they make to sustainability and poverty reduction.

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Small and medium forest enterprises and associations