Small and medium forest enterprise: Uganda, a discussion paper
Within Uganda’s Small and Medium Forest Enterprises (SMFE) sector there is a huge variability in terms of size, organisation, capacity, technology, market access and penetration, turnover and profitability. Yet there are surprising overlaps in the main constraints which they face. The lack of political stability and related investor confidence, the insecurity in land tenure, the inefficiency of government administration, distorted markets and depressed timber prices due to illegal imports and the lack of business skills for entrepreneurial innovation all present major challenges. It is clear, however, that SMFEs can contribute to poverty reduction given the right enabling environment. But to be sustainable, SMFEs require ongoing support through appropriate government policy. They need secure access to land and political stability in order to attract sufficient investment. They need targeted extension and advice to help them break into markets. An outline programme describing how this might be done is presented at the end of this report.