This paper discusses factors that influence successful commercialisation of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) on the basis of household and trader surveys. These surveys have been conducted in 2002-2003 by local collaborators in Bolivia and Mexico as part of a three year UNEP-WCMC and ODI project. The project consists of various parts tied together by a common set of hypotheses and subquestions. The various types of analyses include (i) text analysis on the basis of product reports of individual NTFPs and community report of communities present in the sample (ii) value-chain analysis on the basis of interviews with stakeholders and NTFP traders at various stages of commercialisation of the product and (iii) statistical analysis on the basis of household level and trader level information.
The aim of the present paper is to use the third type of analysis, statistical analysis, to inform the hypotheses and subquestions. It is hoped that this will ultimately lead to a decision-making tool that can inform relevant stakeholders on what determines successful commercialisation. Hence, the approach taken in this paper is to validate or inform hypotheses and sub-questions and where possible link back to what is known on the basis of existing literature on NTFP commercialisation. In this way, the analysis will describe whether the project hypotheses do apply to the communities, something that to our knowledge has not yet been tested, and whether the existing literature on NTFP commercialisation needs refinement. The extent to which refinement of the literature is appropriate may depend on the recommendation domain of our findings. Findings may be extrapolated only under certain conditions.
The structure of this paper is as follows. Section 2 will provide an overview of the sample data. Section 3 provides a list of the main hypotheses to be tested in this paper. The motivation of these hypotheses and their basis in the literature are discussed elsewhere. Section 4 provides a brief introduction into the techniques employed, including regression analysis. Section 5 discusses the empirical results on the basis of the hypotheses and their subquestions. The results are presented in the appendix. Section 6 concludes.
Successful NTFP commercialisation.A quantitative analysis based on household and trader level data, Overseas Development Institute (ODI). London, UK, 94 pp.