Improved productivity, no worker on the slope and no hand on the chainsaw? What is this all about?
The Forest Owners Association (FOA) of New Zealand and the government’s Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) are putting their resources together to the tune of NZ $ 6.5m to investigate more productive and safer ways of harvesting steep slopes. The business plan for the project is being lead by the FOA, and will be managed by Future Forests Research.
The government and forestry sector have set themselves the target of reducing harvesting costs by 25 %, substantially growing the manufacturing of harvesting machinery in New Zealand; and making harvesting jobs safer and more attractive for workers. From the safety perspective, the vision is to have “no worker on the slope and no hand on the chainsaw”. The outcome would be to develop remote controlled machines for steep slopes and high speed cable extraction systems.
The FOA has brought together research providers, the forestry companies and harvesting equipment manufacturers. The business plan aims to identify direct economic benefits of more than NZ $ 100m by 2016 and over NZ $ 400m by 2020. These benefits will mostly be realised through better practices and local and global equipment sales.
Source: www.ffr.co.nz/ and http://www.maf.govt.nz/pgp/media-bkgrd-foa.pdf