Non-timber forest products marketing: field testing of the marketing information system methodology
Abwoli, Y. Banana
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Despite their overall economic importance, studies have shown that the proportion of the final sale price of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) received by the local level of producers or processors is extremely small. The main reason for the low profitability of NTFP enterprises is the lack of an organized information system to help individual producers organize production and distribution, determine appropriate prices, select markets, follow supply and demand, or promote merchandise. An evaluation of the two marketing information system (MIS) field test sites in Uganda of the Forests, Trees and People Programme revealed that MIS had a significant positive impact on the two communities. The information on product sales was used in both communities to adjust production and stocking levels and product lines and, in the process, increase the profitability of their enterprises. MIS was also used to change product mix and to target different market niches. The impact of MIS seems to have been greater in the community (Masaka) that participated the most in the design of the system. They had the greater appreciation of the potential value of MIS.