Our vision is for New Zealand to be home to a valuable sustainable hardwood industry based on eucalypt forests by 2050, and to be a world-leader in breeding ground-durable eucalypts.
In practical terms, the NZDFI aims to develop a valuable, complementary land-use for landowners in the warmer parts of eastern New Zealand where rainfall is low and unreliable. Our target is 100,000 hectares of durable eucalypts planted by 2030. As time progresses and our trees mature, we envisage the development of regional harvesting and processing industries, generating a range of high-value products for both domestic and overseas markets. The first generation of improved planting stock will be available to growers in 2021.
We continue to work in the following areas:
- selecting elite trees from within our diverse genetic resource as a basis for our breeding programme
- developing rapid mass propagation techniques to speed up the delivery of superior planting stock to growers
- developing techniques to screen young trees for desirable wood-quality characteristics, so that selection and breeding work can yield the greatest end-use benefits
- researching and developing sustainable management systems for growing ground-durable eucalypts to produce high-quality hardwood
- working with regional partners to ensure we make progress on the ground.
Working for regional development
The development of forests and associated industries in dryland regions is critical to the NZDFI's vision. In June 2019 we released a new strategy 2020-2030 and welcome any feedback on our ideas.
The NZDFI is a unique, exciting project with a strong focus on strategic research goals. It is backed by an effective scientific programme, extensive trials on farms and in cut-over forests, and an expanding network of stakeholders and industry supporters.