Farmers' production of timber trees in the cacao-coffee region of coastal Ecuador

TitleFarmers' production of timber trees in the cacao-coffee region of coastal Ecuador
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsMussak, MF, Laarman, JG
JournalAgroforestry Systems
Date PublishedOctober 1989
Keywordsagricultural extensionist; farm tree; pasture tree; shade trees; timber

The coastal region of Ecuador is an important producer of cacao and coffee. Increasingly, farms and ranches in the region also provide industrial wood for sawmills and other wood processing plants. Most of this wood derives from shade trees and pasture trees. Because little is known of wood supply from farm sources in coastal Ecuador, a survey was conducted of 122 farmers in the subregions of Ventanas, La Troncal, and Babahoyo. The survey indicates an abundance of land for the growing of farm trees, and excellent regeneration of many species on the majority of farms. However, current stocking of farm trees seems well below potential, and fewer than half of interviewed owners deliberately manage farm trees for eventual sale as timber. Only 2.2 percent of gross farm revenue derives from tree sales, even though over half of surveyed farmers have sold trees to industrial buyers at least once. Constraints on production and sales of farm trees for timber include risks of damage to coffee and cacao; perceived incompatibilities with current farming practices; inadequate methods of classification and pricing of farm trees; and insufficient knowledge of the industrial uses of farm trees by agricultural extensionists. These limitations need to be addressed through a strategy of research, development, and information diffusion on selected demonstration farms.

Journal Abbreviation

Agroforest Syst


0167-4366; 1572-9680

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