FAO Forestry Paper 146


Microfinance and forest-based small-scale enterprises

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome, 2005

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-105412-6

All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders.
Applications for such permission should be addressed to:
Publishing Management Service
Information Division
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy
or by e-mail to:

© FAO 2005





1. Introduction

2. Needs for microfinance among forest-based small-scale

Forest-based small-scale enterprises

Production aspects

Economic aspects

Social aspects

3. Sources of microfinance for forest-based enterprises

Microfinance services

Microfinance providers

Microfinance outreach

Financial sustainability

Impact on the environment

4. Nepal: the micro-enterprise development programme in Parbat district

Parbat district

Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP)

Livelihoods and Forestry Programme (LFP)


5. Guatemala: BANRURAL and Bancafé in Petén

Department of Petén



Challenges for the future


6. The Sudan: Elmirehbiba gum arabic producers association

Microfinance in the Sudan

Elmirehbiba village

Elmirehbiba Gum Arabic Producers Association (EGAPA)


7. Peru: the Brazil nut industry in Madre de Diós

Microfinance in Peru

Department of Madre de Diós

Microfinance services in Madre de Diós


8. Conclusions

Conducive policy framework

Business development services, social facilitation and rural infrastructure

Enhancing the capacity of microfinance institutions