Policies and Markets for Non-Timber Tree Products
Peter A. Dewees
Agriculture and Rural Development Department, World Bank
Sara J. Scherr
March 1, 1996
Markets for non-timber tree products (NTTPs) are widely viewed with great promise because of their potential for achieving a range of development objectives. Markets can, of course, be influenced by policy, but in order to do so, market information is needed to better inform the policy process. There has been increasing concern that few market studies have been adequate for doing so. There has been ambivalence at the policy level because these markets are highly diverse and difficult to characterize, and because governments tend to view NTTP markets as a threat to the conservation and management of forests and woodlands. Perhaps most importantly, however, there has been a failure to link the design of market studies with the potential for policy change. We argue in this paper that policies per se can be used to influence the operation of these markets, and that good market research should be more carefully designed to reflect explicit policy objectives.
Policies toward the operation of NTTP markets have generally been designed to meet one or more of three objectives: to bring about the conservation of tropical forests and woodlands, to improve household welfare, or to support economic growth and development at the regional and national levels. These objectives are not necessarily compatible with each other. The link between market information and the development of policies toward the operation of NTTP markets poses considerable challenges for market research. Increasingly, market researchers must be brought into the policymaking process. In particular, market analysts must be encouraged to continually stretch their conceptual framework, to expand the ways of collecting relevant data, to broaden their use of analytical methods, and to consider more carefully the links between markets, the environment, household production, and household welfare.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 88
Keywords: non-timber tree products, markets, policy
JEL Classification: Q23, Q28, Q13working papers series
Date posted: November 1, 2008 ; Last revised: November 3, 2010
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