The importance of market access for timber growers in small island developing states: a Solomon Island study.
The planting of exotic tree species such as teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) and mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King) in Solomon Islands was encouraged through various governmental and foreign aid programmes. While the programmes were very successful, resulting in thousands of individual woodlots or plantations throughout the country, lack of infrastructure to give access to export markets, reluctance to thin except for financial gain, poor land use planning and very little structural support has resulted in overstocked woodlots full of poor quality trees. The situation is made worse by the problems inherent in being a small island developing state. This study examines the problems facing smallholder growers who need to access international markets for their timber and the steps being taken to attain market access for growers. We also provide some recommendations to give the growers returns on their investment, thereby encouraging a sustainable timber industry in one of the poorest countries in the World.