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Future Forests Signs $1.6m Seedling Contract With SPC

Future Forests (Fiji) Limited has signed a contract to become a preferred provider of tree seedlings to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. This is for the Reforest Fiji project
29 Jul 2015 11:14
Future Forests Signs $1.6m Seedling Contract With SPC

Future Forests (Fiji) Limited has signed a contract to become a preferred provider of tree seedlings to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

This is for the Reforest Fiji project funded by the European Union.

The Reforest Fiji project will see SPC working with farmers to produce 7.5 million seedlings of various species for the establishment of plantations, woodlots and orchards in Fiji.

Managing director, Masum Buksh, said the project action plan is to alleviate risks of natural disasters.

This, he said, would be by reversing on-going soil degradation on the sloping foothills within three specific pilot sugar cane sectors – Drasa, Koronubu and Malolo.

Mr Buksh said at the same time, it creates alternative livelihoods and income generating activities.

The reforestation initiative will see Future Forest supplying over $1.6 million worth of Teak (Tectona Grandis) seedlings to the Reforestation Project in the first two years of programme.

“Teak is Future Forest’s core business and the generation of seedlings, using breeding and genetic techniques in line with international best practice, is part of the skills set we are developing,” he said.

“Teak is a valuable and internationally-sought out hardwood crop.

“It will give incentives to reforestation participants to plant and manage it, thereby improving Future Forest’s potential long-term sources of supply.”

 

Challenges

But Mr Buksh said challenges remain for the company.

“Plantation assets are currently well below what was forecast at the time of its initial public offering in 2011,” he said.

“Current pine sawmilling operations are cash flow positive but dependent on consistent supply of logs.

“The company is working with its professional advisers on options to attract further investment.

“However, the signing of the Reforest Fiji contract will help to stabilise Future Forest’s cash flow during the growth phase of its existing plantations.

“It will enable Future Forest to plan for necessary future expansion.”

Feedback: rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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