Forest and Farm Facility


The Forest and Farm Facility's vision is that smallholders, communities, and indigenous peoples and women's organisations have improved livelihoods and decision-making over forest and farm landscapes.

Reforestation program in Guatemala (Photo: Enrique Varahona)

Organised local forest and farm producers are at the core of a sustainable future. The sheer numbers of local smallholders, communities and indigenous peoples who know and love their forests and farms offers transformative scale.

They generally want to build their own enterprises that improve livelihoods, sustain and restore the natural resources that underpin them and secure intergenerational communities and well-being. The Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) is a unique funding platform that directly supports forest and farm producer organisations to achieve these local aims. 

Project aim

FFF believes that strengthening the horizontal and vertical linkages between such producers and their enterprises has tremendous potential for scaling up: policy influence (to secure commercial forest rights); entrepreneurial capacity (to grow diversified green economies); technical and ecological know-how (to restore landscapes and adapt to and mitigate climate change); and social organisation (to maintain and enhance cultural integrity).

The vision of the FFF is transformation at scale – the millions of small-scale forest and farm producers worldwide, if well organised, have immense transformative power. The FFF aims to help them harness it.

It uses a framework known as investing in locally controlled forestry that recognises four essential enabling investments are necessary prerequisites to attract asset investment: securing commercial tenure; improving business capacity; enhancing technical extension; and strengthening producer organisation. 

Launched in 2013, the facility has a proven theory of change based on three main pillars of work (click on the image to expand it):

A diagram with three pillars showing on what the Forest and Farm Facility's theory of change is based

In short, the facility helps producer groups join, organise, collaborate with or form federations, assist with business development and policy engagement, and facilitate cross-sector dialogue on how to improve support at government level for businesses run by groups of producers.

It builds upon the experience of the Growing Forest Partnerships initiative, as well as the National Forest Programme Facility (NFP-Facility).

The Forest and Farm Facility is a partnership overseen by a steering committee that ensures representatives of local forest family, community and indigenous rights-holder groups take control.

The FFF has global and regional programmes alongside national work in 10 partner countries: Bolivia, Gambia, Guatemala, Kenya, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Vietnam and Zambia. 

A knowledge and learning component led by IIED dovetails with the communication strategy – including a dedicated FAO website. IIED is also responsible for the FFF's monitoring and learning system capture in the recent annual report for 2014 and annual report for 2015.

Further resources:

Read how effective the FFF approach is in the 2014 Annual Report (PDF) and 2015 Annual Report (PDF).

An FAO infographic that illustrates the relationship between forests and family farmsDownload an FAO infographic (PDF) that illustrates the relationship between forests and family farms and highlights the advantages of forest and farm producers getting organised in order to improve the access to market and the income, to amplify their voice in decision making, and to ensure tenure rights, and human well-being.


IIED's involvement in the Forest and Farm Facility management team is currently funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the FFF donors through the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).


UN Food and Agriculture Organization

International Union for the Conservation of Nature


Duncan Macqueen (, principal researcher, IIED's Natural Resources Group