Enhancing Returns from High-value Agroforestry Species in Vanuatu

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Enhancing Returns from High-value Agroforestry Species in Vanuatu



The aim of the project is to advance the Vanuatu planted forestry sector by improving availability of new and existing technologies and facilitating wider smallholder adoption of three high-value forestry species: Canarium, sandalwood and whitewood. To achieve this aim, the following objectives are proposed:

  1. Enhance availability of improved quality Canarium seed through evaluation and capture of wild resources (~30%);
  2. Improve the value of plated sandalwood by widening the deployment of improved genetic resources (~20%);
  3. Enhance knowledge and capacity within whitewood value chain stakeholders, of growing, processing and marketing of high and lower value wood products (~25%);
  4. Increase adoption of existing technologies for planted forests through improved knowledge development and transfer among stakeholders (~25%).
Expected outcomes

The research will broaden and enhance the genetic resources available for Canarium and sandalwood plantations and improve smallholders' ability to produce high-value whitewood timber products locally. The overall end of project outcomes will include:

  • Canarium varieties with high yield and large kernels will be identifies and established in seed production orchards. This, along with knowledge disseminated in a production manual, will lead to greater product quality and consistency in the supply chain, improved market potential and industry viability.
  • Wider availability of improved sandalwood germplasm will result in greater investment in sandalwood planting and improvement in the quality of sandalwood traded. The establishment of new breeding resources will lead to a greater participation of the private sector sandalwood germplasm improvement.
  • The improved knowledge on existing planted whitewood resources will promote additional industry investment in processing technologies and improved supply chain function. Cost-effective methods of whitewood drying and preservation will lead to increased utilisation of existing plantings and longevity of dwellings.
  • Improved approaches to extension will lead to greater smallholder adoption of research outputs, proficiency in planted forestry and reduced dependence on formal extension services.
Overarching questions this project aims to solve
  1. How can the quality and yield of Canarium nuts from planted stands be enhanced through genetic selection and crop management?
  2. What type of partners can help deliver sustainable improvement and deployment of sandalwood to smallholder growers in Vanuatu?
  3. How can the Master TreeGrower approach to forestry extension be adapted to the Vanuatu context to enhance knowledge transfer?
  4. What from of Market Development Group can be used to promote cooperation among stakeholders in the whitewood value chain and support development of a viable whitewood industry?
  • Hanington Tate, Director, Vanuatu Department of Forests
  • Joseph Tungon, Research Manager, Vanuatu Department of Forests
  • Jude Tabi, Regional Forest Officer, Southern Region, Vanuatu Department of Forests
  • Mesek Sethy, Technical Officer, Vanuatu Department of Forests
  • Anne-Marie Sarisets, Extension Officer, Shefa Province, Vanuatu Department of Forests
  • James Smuel, Extension training and radio content, Vanuatu Department of Forests
  • Rexon Virannamanga, SFO Planning, Vanuatu Department of Forests
  • Graeme Palmer, Research Technician, Southern Cross University
  • Noel Kalo, Acting Director, Vanuatu Department of Industry
  • Michael Tabi, Research Technician, Vanuatu Department of Forests 
  • Jimmy Rantez, Director, Department of Industry, Vanuatu
  • Judy Kalotap, Utilization Officer, Shefa Province, Vanuatu Department of Forests
  • Phyllis Berry Kamasteia, Information Officer, Vanuatu Department of Forests
Research team
  • Associate Professor Grahame Applegate, USC
  • Professor John Herbohn, USC
  • Dr Graeme Palmer, SCU
  • Dr Cherise Addinsall, SCU
  • Professor Helen Wallace, USC
  • Dr Elektra Grant, USC
  • Liz Ota, USC
  • Dr Kevin Glencross, SCU
  • Dr John Grant, SCU

Funding body: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

Amount: $1.5M


Dr Tony Page 
Senior Research Fellow

Tel: +61 408 889 684
Email: tpage@usc.edu.au

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