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For the early pine forest cooperatives in the Social Forestry System, resin tapping

has been an extremely important activity. Most members of resin cooperatives are

subsistence farmers who receive no cash income from their farming activities. Income

earned from resin tapping is the only source of cash they have. Resin tapping also fits in

well within the work obligations of campesinos. The best time for tapping pine resin is in

the dry season when farmers do not plant crops. The time spent tapping resin does not

interfere with their capacity to grow food for their families. Prior to the existence of the

Social Forestry System, resin tapping was an artesian activity practiced by a very few

communities in rural areas. The resin was used locally for soap making, medicine, wood

curing, glue, pesticide, and patching leaks (ADECAF, 1998) A few crude processing

operations existed at the time, but much of the resin was used locally. The first resin

cooperative was the Cooperativa San Juan de Ojojona, which was founded in 1946 to

produce raw material for the first industrial processing plant, Resinera Bahr. The number

of organized resin producing groups remained small until COHDEFOR began promoting

resin cooperatives and the Social Forestry System.

In the majority of resin cooperatives, individual members who tap resin

(resineros) have their own plot where they tap trees. The size of the plots and the number

of usable trees within the plots varies from 2 to 20 hectares and 400 to over 3000 trees

per plot. Within the communities, resin plots are recognized as property of the resinero.

Plots are regularly sold between members, and they are commonly inherited within

families. Some resineros have even managed to obtain legal titles to their plots. In


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