Large numbers of rural households in Africa continue to generate some of their income from forest product activities. However, much of this involvement is in labour intensive low return activities that help to provide the poor with an income safety net, but which decline once better alternatives become available. Expansion of forest product activities is likely to be concentrated on a limited number of products and services for which demand grows with rural and urban development. The paper reviews the implications of this dichotomy for support and resource management strategies.
Michael Arnold and Ian Townson