Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research's Forestry Research Program Manager, Mr Tony Bartlett, traveled to Fiji last month for an End of Project Review of the Cocoveneer project (FST/2009/062).
|Spindle-less lathe in action. |
The review was conducted by Dr Lex Thomson, who has extensive experience in forestry and agricultural value chains in the Pacific. Dr Thomson and Mr Bartlett attended the project’s final workshop in Suva and also inspected the production of green cocowood veneer at Fiji Forestry’s timber utilization facility at Nasinu. They met with Australian project team members and research partners from Fiji and Samoa and a large delegation from the Solomon Islands led by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Forestry and Research, Vaeno Vigulu.
|Samples of Cocoveneer.|
The project developed and tested a range of innovative products including veneer, laminated veneer lumber, overlay panel, engineered flooring and multi-laminar wood. The products showed a strong potential for commercial use as flooring, linings, some types of joinery surfaces and benchtops. The project team conducted an operational trial of cocoveneer production at the private sector partner - Valebasoga Tropicboards Ltd mill located in Labasa on Vanua Levu. Mr Bartlett considers this to be a very important step in achieving wider adoption of the project’s research and development findings.
The project has an excellent website (http://www.cocowood.net) which provides good information about the research and the findings.
By Ruby Gillett, Program Support Office, ACIAR