Coconut and other non-traditional forest resources for the manufacture of Engineered Wood Products
The current ACIAR, Queensland Government and industry-funded project aims to support the establishment of a new value chain that allows unproductive senile coconut palms to be used in the manufacture of engineered wood products or EWPs.
The removal and sale of senile coconut palms, which are characterised by low or absent nut production, will help facilitate and offset the costs of establishing new food crops (coconut or other), in turn boosting food production and the financial viability of farming communities, while the coconut logs will supplement timber processors that are constrained by traditional, and now limited, timber resources.
The project will also work within existing value chains to boost the viability of EWPs manufactured from other sustainable forest resources, ensuring the ongoing availability of the high-quality, low-embodied energy products being increasingly demanded by the construction, architecture and furniture manufacturing sectors.
In addition to resolving technical challenges with log processing and EWP manufacture, the project is studying the important social aspects of the coconut and other non-traditional forest resources value-chains (including gender inclusiveness), as well as investigating financial modelling approaches and product market access strategies, in addition to serving to boost skills capacity.