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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Forestry cooperatives for smallholders in Ethopia?

The status quo is that farmers sell their woodlots to middlemen or traders at farm gate as standing trees. Not every farmer is equipped with market price information. Farmers as individuals have less bargaining power when confronted with a middleman. This implies the need of a more transparent way of selling tree products, so as to create an incentive for tree growing in the long run.

Hence, it begs the question: What about a forestry cooperative which can facilitate small-scale tree farmers for production and marketing purposes? My field work focused on two main themes: 1) factors affecting the willingness of small-scale farmers to participate in a forestry cooperative, and 2) the capacity of an existing farmer’s organization to implement the tasks of a forestry cooperative (e.g. information sharing and collective marketing of wood products).

Read the rest at the TU Dresden Tropical Forestry blog


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