SUNBIZ

Pine Landowners Urged To Give Their Best For Re-planting Programme

Pine landowners involved with the Fiji Pine Group’s re-planting programme have been urged to do so giving their best. Fiji Pine Group executive chairman, Faiz Khan, made the plea to
21 Jul 2016 11:16
Pine Landowners Urged To Give Their Best For Re-planting Programme
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama handing over lease security bonus payout cheques to pine landowners at Tropik Wood’s new saw mill and kiln in Drasa, Lautoka. Photo: DEPTFO NEWS

Pine landowners involved with the Fiji Pine Group’s re-planting programme have been urged to do so giving their best.

Fiji Pine Group executive chairman, Faiz Khan, made the plea to landowners as $1.5 million was handed out to these landowners in the form of Lease Security Bonus Payout.

“How you plant and nurture your forests today will determine what you reap in 22 years’ time. Guard your forests against pine fires,” he said.

“Most importantly guard yourselves against the just one or two detractors of this industry who will tell you otherwise for their ulterior motives.”

Mr Khan proudly revealed in the past four years, around 10,000 hectares of expiring leases have been renewed.

“Our replanting programme started in earnest in 2012 after a decade of almost no planting,” he said.

“But it will take 22 years for the trees to mature in a plantation cycle for producing logs into timber.

“Our forests in Viti Levu are currently not sustainable because in the past we have neglected to replant. We have a lot of catching up to do.

“The process of correction has started with reduced harvesting and increased re-planting planned for the next 10 years.

“For these reasons a united and a long term view for the pine industry is a non-negotiable. We cannot just live for the day.”

 

Foundations being laid

In recognition of the replanting programme progressing well, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama also acknowledged the setting up of a new nursery in Uto, Nadi.

He emphasised though: “As we develop our current pine industry, we are also laying a foundation for future generations.

“And that is something we must always keep in mind, because pine cultivation is a long-term proposition. The plantation cycle takes 22 years to complete.

“That means that we are always planting for our children and our children’s children.

“And they will only have a pine industry if we keep our commitment to safety, sustainability, profitability and, decisive and transparent management.”

Mr Bainimarama said these forests were neglected for many years, so there is a lot of time to make up.

“The effort you put into these replanting programmes, both at Fiji Pine and as landowners, guarantees a sustainable future for Fiji,” he said.

“A future Fiji where our sons and daughters can enjoy the same bounty of forestry resources that we enjoy today.”

 

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj



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