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Minimal damage

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

FUTURE Forests (Fiji) Limited (FFF) has recorded minimal damage to its plantations in Ra and Nadroga following the wrath of Tropical Cyclone Evan last year.

General manager Stephen Clark said most trees in the older plantations were defoliated but there was no damage to stem forms.

He said younger plantations experienced some leaf desiccation near the tip but the trees continued to grow.

"In one older compartment only, located on a site with high water table, about 1 per cent of trees were blown over but mainly due to poor root structure associated with the wet side."

He said 50 damaged trees would be harvested, sawn and converted into added-value finished wood products.

"About 15 per cent of young transplants were desiccated by strong winds. Many of the rooted cuttings in the mini propagation units did not survive." The lack of power and water, Mr Clark said, had affected main office activities. He said power and water supply were later restored.

He said FFF medium-term plans for the year to 2017 were to maintain existing plantations comprising more than 200 hectares (around 500 acres) and generate revenue from the sale of seedlings, forestry consulting and contract planting services.

Manufacturing and selling wood products from teak and other available log types to generate further revenue were also included in the plan.

According to FFF, teak trees met 5 per cent of global demand and projected internal rate of return of 20 per cent on sawn timber.

"We will continue plantation estate expansion by at least 40 hectares (around 100 acres) per annum at base level subject to funds availability and certify FFF plantations in accordance with international standards as being well managed," Mr Clark said.

He said the company marked a 5.5 per cent annual growth in global teak prices over the past 30 years with strong potential capital growth returning from a steadily growing and renewable natural resource.





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