New research project investigate the best fast-growing tree species for planting in Africa
The forest industry is important for the economic development of South Africa. Now SIDA grant 3.9 million SEK to investigate the best fast-growing tree species for planting in Africa. The goal of this project is to identify drought tolerant fast growing tree that can produce wood of sufficient quality to be used in the construction industry or in the pulp and paper industry according to a press release.
Efforts are underway to establish new forests on land managed by village communities and to influence the smallholder farmers to exploit their forests better. The afforestation is done on land that is too dry for agricultural purposes.
Marie Johansson, associate professor of timber engineering at Linné University, and Harold Blessed, lecturer in forestry and wood technology at the same university, has been granted 3.9 million SEK from SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency). The project aims to find suitable fast growing tree to plant in dry soils in South Africa.
The newly established forests can contribute to creating a sustainable income for landowners. An important part of the project is about reaching out with research results to landowners so that they can manage their forests in the best manner and increase their income.
The project is part of SIDA's "partner-driven cooperation" program that aims to stimulate and strengthen the collaboration between Swedish researchers and researchers in low and middle income countries to contribute to poverty reduction and equitable and sustainable global development.
This project involved researchers from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, INNVENTIA and Linné University in Sweden. University of Stellenbosch has strong expertise in the forest area and are working to find new species with good growth characteristics for planting in dry soils. INNVENTIA (formerly STFI-Packforsk) is a Swedish research institute in the field of pulp and paper. Linné University contributes to this project with knowledge of material properties important to the construction industry.