Commonwealth and State governments in Australia are attempting to increase the adoption of farm forestry to address pressing natural resource management and regional development issues. Farm forestry has the potential to provide substantial benefits to regions, principally by arresting land degradation, but also by diversifying farm incomes and contributing to industry development-particularly if timber processing occurs in a region. However, viable regional farm forestry industries are still to emerge. While some small-scale growers have developed farm forestry independently of industry or government assistance, most growers link with industry prior to harvest. These grower-industry partnerships have established 82,900 ha of forests, representing approximately 8% of Australia's plantation resource. Notwithstanding this success, market linkages between small-scale growers and industry has been identified as an important impediment to farm forestry. In this paper, the authors discuss their recent assessment of links between small-scale growers and industry in three important farm forestry regions in Australia. Linking arrangements are described and refinements suggested. The authors conclude that the extent farm forestry will deliver anticipated benefits to landholders and regional communities will largely be determined by the structure of markets.
Journal of Sustainable Agriculture / Vol. 13, No. 4, pp.67-86