Improving domestic markets for the wood products of reforestation programs: a case study of eucalyptus in northwestern Senegal

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Virginia Tech

There is a drastic need for reforestation in the Sahel region of Africa. International donors and local governments invest large sums of money for the purpose of planting trees. Unfortunately, the majority of reforestation efforts last only as long as the projects. Presently there is a push in the donor community to have more sustainable projects, increasing local participation and creating a situation in which reforestation efforts will continue beyond the scope of any one project.

This thesis examines the potential opportunity for the use of eucalyptus in the domestic sawn wood markets of Senegal. It is hoped that with increased economic incentives the local population will become more inclined to plant trees. It is therefore important to identify the market opportunities for the products of reforestation. In this research it has been noted that more emphasis should be placed on determining the barriers to market entry for the goods to be produced from the reforestation and providing assistance to lower those barriers.

In Senegal it is generally accepted that planting for fuel wood and housepoles does not provide enough of an economic incentive for increased local involvement in reforestation. This thesis finds that the domestic sawn wood market for eucalyptus in Senegal holds potential but will not provide tangible benefits until there are further improvements in the market infrastructure and communication to the farmer. To increase the participation in this market the people of Senegal need to see for themselves that reforestation can be financially beneficial. Reforestation projects rust have a longer-term vision and provide assistance throughout the productive cycle of the tree.