Natural forest products from Cockpit Country include yam sticks, lumber, fuelwood, coal. But these products also constitute a threat to the forest itself and are often illegally cut. It is less damaging to the forest and more profitable to the community to add value locally: to make items that are much more valuable than the raw material. For instance, authentic items that local communities have used for centuries: calabash (poisonous when green), donkey hampers, fish pots, sieves, cutacoo. The skills for making them still exist. Drums are still being made in southern Cockpit Country. A reliable alternative source of income in rural communities around Cockpit Country is the collection of wythes (“wiss”) from the forest. But nobody uses “wiss” locally and so it is sold to middle men. Medicinal plants and herbs, such as Snake weed, Wild pinda, Kwasha weed, Kola nut, Succabumba, Paratoe weed, Cerassee, Leaf of life, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Jack ina bush, Fever grass, Comfrey, Chinny weed, Akuako bush, are still used by communities around Cockpit Country.
All tourist areas in Jamaica have craft markets and there is clearly a market for authentic products.
The raw materials are available and funding is available to help with training and start-up costs.