These benefits make agroforestry cooperatives attractive to the communities that
have them and to many communities that do not. So the question is, why are there not
more agroforestry cooperatives working in rural communities in the forests of Honduras?
All cooperatives must collaborate with AFE/COHDEFOR and the municipalities
to obtain support for their forest management or harvesting activities. Unfortunately,
Honduran government bureaucracies can be difficult to work with, and the experiences of
these cooperatives reinforce that image.
Cooperativa Guadalupe and Villa Santa, which work in national forest, must deal
with AFE/COHDEFOR extensively. The agency performs functions for the cooperatives
such as approving management plans, operational plans, and usufruct contracts, charging
stumpage fees, coordinating fire crews, assigning forest areas, and distributing invoices.
Without the backing of AFE/COHDEFOR, a group cannot operate.
The national headquarters of AFE/COHDEFOR is in Tegucigalpa. The
headquarters is divided into departments with different responsibilities. One of the
departments is the Department of the Social Forestry System. The SFS Department
works in promoting new agroforestry groups and supporting the groups that exist. Not all
the groups the SFS works with are cooperatives. Small businesses, patronatos, and
municipalities also work with the SFS. The country is divided into eleven
AFE/COHDEFOR regions. Each region has a main office, and the regions are
subdivided into 59 management units. The management units are directly responsible for