Press release: New films offer rural people an opportunity to improve their incomes

RECOFTC’s ForInfo project launches three new short videos that explain innovatice approaches for rural people to improve their incomes up to fourfold through improved efficiency in smallholder forestry operations in Asia. By applying simple tools and machines for bamboo and teak harvesting, RECOFTC presents communities appropriate and innovative approaches for increasing income and access to finance through the certification of the ownership of marketable timber.

The three videos are now available in English (Laos-language versions to be launched in September):

Bamboo: Efficient harvesting for better livelihoods" highlights potential emerging market opportunities in northern Lao PDR for bamboo, such as the banana plantation industry and the potential biomass industry for Thailand's energy market. 

How money can grow on trees: Documenting plantation ownership and trees as collateral" demonstrates the process of promoting a range of improvements to maximize benefits from teak plantation management by supporting smallholder plantation certification and linking them with micro-finance schemes. 

Appropriate harvesting technologies: Small scale solutions for bamboo and teak” focuses on how the fundamental principles of improving efficiency through first mechanization can be applied in most other forest and agricultural product value chains. Efficiency improvement opportunities can be adapted in most circumstances where difficult terrains for transport and farmers’ capacity to carry goods are hindering them from a decent and competitive daily income.

Through time-and-motion studies, the methods, machines and techniques were tested over several months in the field with local communities. This field work provided insight on the best application environment and guided local forest managers in their decision-making process and selection of the appropriate technical choice.

RECOFTC’s ForInfo project, a four-year project funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affair of Finland, has made use of its research results and field-tested methodologies in a regional training course on appropriate harvesting technologies, which brings together researchers and forestry practitioners from both the public and private sectors to learn and share experiences on small-scale technical solutions for local forest managers interested in managing their natural resources sustainably and with economic efficiency.

For more information on ForInfo’s project sites in Lao PDR and throughout the Asia-Pacific region, please visit the project’s webpage and check out our blog postsnewsletter and factsheets. Please contact the ForInfo project staff at for more information on upcoming activities and training courses.

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