Comment: Government's new forestry agenda

Wednesday 22 Nov 2017

The recent announcements on afforestation by the new government are welcomed.

The traditional forest industry of international corporates and farm foresters have already planted their land. It is more likely young farmers and Iwi will have spare land for new planting.

Four things will help. First, a broader coalition of stakeholders is needed. The coalition could include urban investors, as happened in the 1990s. Second, the right government policy to underpin a forestry expansion goal is essential, as is a sensible emissions trading scheme. Third, if investors are to be attracted, then better liquidity through trading of immature stands will be an essential element. Investors need to be able to get their funds both in and out of each investment they make.

Finally, for land owners, the key ingredient missing is good information and facilitation through extension services. Using the agricultural networks, a sustained campaign is needed, particularly around forestry economics, business structures, and incentives. Use of existing forestry experts is an obvious way to kick start such a programme and respond rapidly within the three-year election cycle.

Source: Scoop News


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