Forest and Farm Facility

January 2013

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

The logo of the Forest and Farm FacilityFFF 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 its annual reports.


Access to finance for forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs), Duncan Macqueen, Niclas Benni, Marco Boscolo, Jhony Zapata (2018) Research report

Transforming gender relations: upscaling collective action in women’s entrepreneurship, Anna Bolin (2018), IIED Briefing

Forest business incubation: Towards sustainable forest and farm producer organisation (FFPO) businesses that ensure climate resilient landscapes, Duncan Macqueen, Anna Bolin (2018) Research report

Democratic forest business models: a harder but more rewarding path, Duncan Macqueen, Anna Bolin, Geraldine Warren (2015), IIED Briefing Paper

Stronger forest and farm producer groups can reduce poverty in the Gambia, Grazia Piras (2013), IIED Briefing Paper

Landscapes for public goods: multifunctional mosaics are fairer by far, Duncan Macqueen (2013), IIED Briefing Paper

Stronger forest and farm producers' groups can help deepen Myanmar democracy, Duncan Macqueen (2013), IIED Briefing Paper

Additional resources

Small, but many, is big: a review of issues in assessing the collective scale of small and locally-controlled forest-linked investment, James Mayers, Lila Buckley, Duncan Macqueen (2016), IIED Issue Paper

Democratising forest business: a compendium of successful locally controlled forest business organisations, Duncan Macqueen, Anna Bolin, Martin Greijmans (2015), IIED

Multi-stakeholder governance strengthens sustainable livelihoods in Bosawás, Nicaragua, Grazia Piras, Leonardo Chávez, Olga Lazo, Nora Sylvander (2014), IIED Briefing Paper

Prioritising support for locally controlled forest enterprises, Duncan Macqueen, Emmanuelle Andaya, Samuêl Begaa, Mario Bringas, Martin Greijmans, Tony Hill, Shoana Humphries, Barthelemy Kabore, Thibault Ledecq, Tabin Lissendja, Alphonse Maindo, Amalia Maling, David McGrath, Simon Milledge, Femy Pinto, Nguyen Quang Tan (2014), IIED

Unleashing the potential of community forest enterprises in Myanmar, Kyaw Tint, Oliver Springate- Baginski, Duncan Macqueen, Mehm Ko Ko Gyi (2014), IIED

Making change happen: what can governments do to strengthen forest producer organizations? P. deMarsh, M. Boscolo, H. Savenije, Sophie Grouwels, Jhony Zapata, Jeffrey Campbell, Duncan Macqueen,  (2014), Forest and Farm Facility and FAO, Rome

Multi-sectoral platforms for planning and implementation- working paper, Duncan Macqueen, Jhony Zapata, Jeffrey Y Campbell, Sony Baral, Kanimang Camara, Leonardo Chavez, Sophie Grouwels, Fred Kafeero, Edward Kamara, Ewald Rametsteiner, Ogden Rodas, (2014), Forest and Farm Facility and FAO, Rome

Roadmap for strengthening forest and farm producer organisations – policy brief, FAO, IIED, IUCN, Forest and Farm Facility (2014) Forest and Farm Facility and FAO, Rome

Achieving more together: empowered forest and farm producer organizations, Jeffrey Campbell (2016), FAO, Rome

Organised forest-farm producers mitigate climate change through adaptive resilience, Jeffrey Campbell (2016), FAO, Rome

Forest and farm producers working together to improve policy and secure tenure, Jeffrey Campbell (2016), FAO, Rome

Forest and farm producer organizations improve income and access to markets, Jeffrey Campbell (2016), FAO, Rome

Local voices speaking together for global change, Jeffrey Campbell (2016), FAO, Rome

Roadmap for strengthening forest and farm producer organisations – policy brief, FAO, IIED, IUCN, Forest and Farm Facility (2014) Forest and Farm Facility and FAO, Rome

Annual reports: Read how effective the FFF approach is in the 2016 Annual Report (PDF), the 2015 Annual Report (PDF) and the 2014 Annual Report (PDF).

About the Forest and Farm Facility (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).