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Small-scale timber production in South Africa: what role in reducing poverty?

Forestry plays a diverse and significant role in reducing poverty in South African rural areas, ranging from direct cash payments to more intangible improvements in rights, capabilities and representation. This study looks at ten case studies representing a variety of business models - outgrower schemes, procurement schemes, broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE), government financed projects with technical facilitation, and non-aligned entrepreneurs - to make a critical and constructive assessment of the contribution of small-scale timber production in helping people out of poverty. It recommends increasing participation in downstream processing, accelerating access to state land, providing better funding and financial services, improving extension support, and actively publicising and spreading current successes.

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