Small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) are a subject of increasing importance in Ghana as forest resources decline and demands upon them continue unabated. The use of fallow land, farm and reserved forest trees by these domestic actors is likely to play a defining role in the future of Ghana’s forests.
SMFEs in this context refer to forestry related enterprises employing one person or few people. They are characterised by having minimal capital and employing informally trained workers but sometimes with a high revenue profile with the potential for value addition backed by higher capital and skill levels. Such enterprises are mostly based on non-timber forest products (NTFPs). These include honey, bush meat, medicinal and herbal products, wild fruits, leaves and nuts, and community based ecotourism. But there are also a substantial number based on wood or timber. These include wood and charcoal enterprises, chainsaw lumber production and trade, wood carving, carpentry and chewsticks.
The aim behind the sourcebook is to introduce some of the issues facing SMFEs in Ghana today and to increase the visibility of SMFEs and service providers to each other – with the hope that this might prompt a greater quest for support service on the one hand, and a greater incentive to provide such support on the other – given the scale at which SMFEs operate.