Employment and income from small-scale non-farm enterprise activities are of growing importance in the rural and urban economies of developing countries. Enterprises using forest products everywhere make up an important part of the small enterprise total. The present study has been undertaken in order to explore the small forest products enterprise sector in a region where recent surveys have generated a more wide ranging set of data about small enterprise performance than has been available previously. In the six countries covered in southern and eastern Africa - Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe - an estimated 763,000 persons are employed in 408,000 small enterprises engaged in activities based on the transformation or commercialization of forest products. On average, small forest products enterprises provide employment for 16 persons for every thousand head of population, though this varies considerably from country to country.
OFI Occasional Papers no. 47. 41pp.