Small-scale planted forests in Zululand, South Africa: an opportunity for appropriate development
Author: Cellier, G.A.
Source: New Forests, Volume 18, Number 1, 1999 , pp. 45-58(14)
Abstract:Forestry in South Africa is sharply divided between commercially driven private enterprise which controls 1.3 million ha of plantation forests, and government and nongovernment organizations which promote a variety of social forestry programs.
One area of crossover is that of small-scale (1--2 ha) commercial woodlots being promoted by private timber companies as an additional source of fiber for their pulpmills, but grown and managed by individual farmers. Inputs, such as plants and fertilizers, as well as expertise in the form of extension foresters, are provided by the company, whereas the farmers supply the land and the labor. The company guarantees to buy the timber at the time of harvest. Under such arrangements, the risk is spread between the farmers and the company; the farmers assume most of the risks of production, and the company takes on the marketing risks.
The possibilities for appropriate and sustainable development do exist under such a program, but issues involving both ecological and social sustainability must be addressed. This paper suggests that four key characteristics are needed to achieve appropriate development in Zululand. These characteristics are participation, flexibility, empowerment, and commitment. When compared to the current arrangement, the company would have to make a fundamental paradigm shift to achieve these goals. However, the long-term support of the farmers, and ultimately more fiber in the mills, would be the reward.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Forest Solutions, Hawaii, USA
Publication date: January 1, 1999