The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes the Government’s investment in farm forestry research and development (R&D) under the second round of the Rural R&D for Profit Programme.
The Government today announced $520,000 of funding to Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) for an R&D project that will develop new approaches and decision support tools for the introduction of commercial trees on agricultural land.
Dr Kevin Harding, President of the Australian Forest Growers said, “Farm forestry is yet to realise its full potential in Australia. It deserves greater attention from policy makers due to its role in diversifying farm income and providing multiple economic, social and environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Mr Ross Hampton said, “The expansion of existing wood and paper processing industries is constrained by the available resources. Farm forestry, through the planting of commercial trees on agricultural land, can provide a valuable addition to the current available resource, enabling wood and paper processing industries to expand and take advantage of new opportunities in domestic and international markets.”
AFPA’s new Policy Proposal ‘Plantations … the missing piece of the puzzle’ identified that more can be done to support farm forestry, through cooperative arrangements that support land owners to develop farm forests and facilitate the aggregation of the resource at a local level.
“Many other countries have a long history of supporting farm forestry, including New Zealand, the United States and Sweden, among others, and are realising the significant positives that can accrue from these sustainable activities,” said Mr Hampton.