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weather, and the planting season were all causes. Yield and production were poor the

first year because of inexperience.

The biggest risk is the initial investment required to start a sawmill. Any long

work stoppage can deprive a cooperative of the income it needs to pay loans incurred in

building a mill. Cooperativa Guadalupe has experienced this problem. Their sawmill

was quite expensive, and they purchased a truck while still paying their loan for the

sawmill. The mill has been idle for half of 2003, and the loan remains unpaid.

Cooperativa Guadalupe also had problems selling its lumber, which were due to

inexperience with business practices. The cooperative sent lumber to one client for over

three months without receiving any payment. By the time they stopped delivering

lumber, the client had accumulated a debt of over 150,000 Lps. and claimed he had no

money to pay the cooperative. They managed to recover about half the debt, but the

business went bankrupt and never paid the balance. It was a 70,000 Lp. mistake that may

have been avoided had the group leaders known more about business practices.

Project ADECAF supplied the capital to constitute EMCAH, the marketing

company created to cater to the agroforestry cooperatives. EMCAH was created to give

cooperatives an advantage in the areas where they were weakest, marketing and lumber

processing. Cooperatives paid 30,000 Lps. to become members plus 500 Lps. per year.

Cooperativa Guadalupe, Villa Santa, and Protección are members of ADECAF. When

ADECAF ended, ownership and control of the company passed to the member

cooperatives. EMCAH uses a professional manager and sales representative to manage

the company and market the products. EMCAH owns and operates three portable

sawmills, which can be operated with any member cooperative harvesting logs. The


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