Enhancing returns from high-value agroforestry species in Vanuatu

Project code
AUD 1,564,973
Research program manager
Dr Nora Devoe
Project leader
Dr Tony Page
Commissioned organisation
University of the Sunshine Coast
JUN 2017
JUN 2022
Project status
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This project aimed to advance the Vanuatu planted forestry sector by improving the availability of new and existing technologies and facilitating wider smallholder adoption of the 3 priority species. 

To achieve this, the project sought to: (1) enhance  availability of selected Canarium seed through evaluation and capture of wild resources; (2) improve the value of planted sandalwood by widening the deployment of improved genetic resources; (3) enhance knowledge and capacity among whitewood value chain stakeholders, of growing, processing and marketing of high and lower value wood products; and, (4) increase adoption of existing technologies for planted forests through improved knowledge development and transfer among stakeholders.

In Vanuatu there is great potential for a smallholder-led planted forest industry, based on high-value timbers and non-timber products such as Canarium nut, sandalwood oil, and whitewood timber. The Government of Vanuatu has initiated a Decade of Reforestation, under which it aims to support the planting of millions of trees.

Expected project outcomes

  • Canarium varieties with high yield and large kernels identified and established in seed production orchards. This, along with the knowledge disseminated in a production manual, leading to greater nut product quality and consistency in the supply chain, improved market potential and industry viability.
  • Wider availability of improved sandalwood germplasm resulting in greater investment in sandalwood planting and better quality of sandalwood traded.
  • Establishment of new breeding resources leading to a greater participation of the private sector in improving sandalwood germplasm.
  • Improved knowledge of existing planted whitewood resources promoting additional industry investment in processing technologies and improved supply chain function.
  • Cost-effective methods of whitewood drying and preservation leading to increased utilisation of existing plantings and longevity of dwellings.
  • Improved approaches to extension leading to greater adoption by smallholders of research outputs, proficiency in planted forestry and reduced dependence on formal extension services. 
Key partners
Department of Forests
Department of Industry
Southern Cross University
University of the Sunshine Coast
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact sheet FST/2016/154