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Markets Drive the Specialization Strategies of Forest Peoples

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Author(s): Manuel Ruiz-Pérez | Brian Belcher | Ramadhani Achdiawan | Miguel Alexiades | Catherine Aubertin | Javier Caballero | Bruce Campbell | Charles Clement | Tony Cunningham | Alfredo Fantini | Hubert de Foresta | Carmen García Fernández | Krishna H. Gautam | Paul Hersch Martínez | Wil de Jong | Koen Kusters | M. Govindan Kutty | Citlalli López | Maoyi Fu | Miguel Angel Martínez Alfaro | T.K. Raghavan Nair | Ousseynou Ndoye | Rafael Ocampo | Nitin Rai | Martin Ricker | Kate Schreckenberg | Sheona Shackleton | Patricia Shanley | Terry Sunderland | Yeo-Chang Youn

Journal: Ecology and Society
ISSN 1708-3087

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Commercialization | forest use | market development | nontimber forest products | poverty | resource management | specialization

ABSTRACT
Engagement in the market changes the opportunities and strategies of forest-related peoples. Efforts to support rural development need to better understand the potential importance of markets and the way people respond to them. To this end, we compared 61 case studies of the commercial production and trade of nontimber forest products from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The results show that product use is shaped by local markets and institutions, resource abundance, and the relative level of development. Larger regional patterns are also important. High-value products tend to be managed intensively by specialized producers and yield substantially higher incomes than those generated by the less specialized producers of less managed, low-value products. We conclude that commercial trade drives a process of intensified production and household specialization among forest peoples.
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