Project information

Building Forest Enterprise

This project will improve the lives of rural families in Mali. For people heavily dependent upon natural resources the project will provide training in systems of production and market behaviour that will enable families to generate the income to diversify diets and buy foods in times of shortage.

March 2010 - December 2011

Charity information


  • Need


    For rural populations in Mali, highly vulnerable to food shortages and crop failures, forest products such as fruits, leaves, nuts and seeds are a critical resource, vital to meet daily household needs and also as a potential source of income. Without the technical capacity and basic materials for investment they are unable to make tree products work for them, and risk over exploiting the forest resources that could be their pathway out of absolute poverty.


    This project will build alliances and forge market links within the rural populations of Mali, bringing local organisations rooted in the community together with key government agencies to fully realise the potential of trees. It will enable villagers to get tree product businesses up and running and support them in managing their forest resources in such a way as to secure future supplies of the tree products to feed these enterprises.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Advice and mentoring for village tree enterprises


    » Trained business advisers will give advice on inter-group cooperation to attract more interest from bulk buyers and for stronger negotiating positions
    » Also advice on group development and managing group finances.
    » Further advice on market research and entrepreneurial skills.

    Success will be delivery and uptake of advice on the development of entrepreneurial businesses.

    Aim 2

    Access to micro-finance


    » The project will support groups to set up their own revolving savings and credit schemes.
    » Working agreements will be established with micro-finance institutions in Mali and workshops to introduce them to village entrepreneurs.
    » Group members will be advised on the terms of loans and helped in putting together loan applications.

    Success will be the ability of the village tree enterprise groups to access micro-finance.

    Aim 3

    Product promotion and market research


    » Forecasting and coordination of product supply.
    » Building relations between the enterprise groups and wholesale buyers.
    » Helping entrepreneurs find information on market prices, trends, and product quality and volumes required by buyers.

    Success will be the deeper understanding of market behaviours by the entrepreneurs and their ability to make decisions based upon this.

    Aim 4

    Improving systems of production


    » Information on options for product processing technology.
    » Training entrepreneurs in the best techniques to improve the quality of their tree products.
    » Promotion of technological innovation including where appropriate shared production units and modern equipment.

    Success will be the production of tree products of greater quality with greater efficiency.

    Aim 5

    Support to implement local forest management plans


    » Training for 3 nursery attendants
    » Training for 100 villagers on natural regeneration techniques
    » Training for 150 people on tree planting techniques
    » Training for 150 people on grafting to boost production of shea trees

    Success will be the implementation of local forest management plans by all groups involved.

  • Impact


    This project will improve the lives of rural families in Mali. The project will provide the support needed to enable villagers to earn money from tree products. Support and training will enable families to generate the income needed to diversify diets and buy other foods in times of local shortages.


    There is a risk that the village entrepreneurs will not have enough natural resources; trees and tree products, to fulfill the demands of their tree product based businesses. To mitigate this there is a strong managing forest resource element, that will work to clarify rights surrounding access to trees, alongside planting over 35,000 trees, to ensure future supplies of tree products.


    A baseline household survey has established a benchmark against which success can be measured. Annual self-assessment workshops will be conducted in each village, with a repeat household survey towards the end of 2011.
    Donors will receive twice yearly progress reports.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £159,531

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £31,734 Advice and finance Advisory support to village tree enterprises and facilitating access to micro-finance
      £18,318 Product promotion Product promotion and market research
      £39,932 Production Improving systems of production
      £30,777 Forest management Validating and implementing local forest management plans
      £13,733 Policy and regulations Developing local policy and regulations on non-timber forest products
      £16,864 Monitoring and administration Monitoring & evaluation and administrative support
      £8,173 Fundraising TREE AID UK fundraising
  • Background


    This project is located in 10 villages in the Segou region of Mali. 85% of people in this region live below the $2 a day poverty line and literacy rates are just 8% (women) and 19% (men). Lack of drought resilient products for exchange at market means that most villagers do not earn the cash to pay for basic foodstuffs and services.


    The majority groups in the Segou region are Bobo, Dogon, Minianka, Dafing and Peul. Each ethnic group already has their own cultural beliefs and traditional management practices concerning forests and tree products, so for sustainability of the work these will be incorporated into the programme. Around 70% of VTE group members are female but other household members will benefit from successful tree product enterprises and whole communities will be involved in the natural resource management.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    At TREE AID, we know that tackling poverty and environmental protection are inseparable. We help villagers in the drylands of Africa unlock the potential of trees to break the cycle of environmental decline and poverty. We help create self-reliance for poor communities building not only their chances of survival but also their dignity and respect. We have a long-term proven track record of producing great results.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Association Malienne Pour L'Education Du Public Et La Protection De L'Environnement (AMEPPE)

    A TREE AID partner since 2007 AMEPPE contribute to the improvement of marginalised rural populations’ socio-economic and environmental conditions.


will provide forestry training for a whole village