Tuesday, March 5, 2024

 ‘Seed money’ sought for eucalypts project

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Expressions of interest invited for research and breeding programme.
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A forestry innovation organisation focusing on breeding, researching and developing durable eucalypts is seeking investors to help further research.

New Zealand Dryland Forests IP Ltd was set up in July 2022 by New Zealand Dryland Forests Innovation (NZDFI) to separate commercial activities from the broader focus of NZDFI’s research and development programme.

The board of NZDFIP Ltd is now seeking expressions of interest from the forest industry for a limited offer sale of shares in the company and support for its ongoing research and development programme.

“After 15 years of research and breeding progress, we are ready to invite industry partners to come on board,” said Shaf van Ballekom, chair of NZDFI and general manager of Proseed NZ, Australasia’s largest tree seed producer. “Advances in tree breeding take many decades, as does the research and education that goes with delivering what is a new opportunity for the forest industry. We are on the cusp of commercialising the results of our intensive efforts to date.”

Up to 49% of the NZDFIP Ltd shareholding is on offer to forest growers that have the land, capability, and a strategy to diversify by investing in large-scale planting of the elite durable eucalypts now available. 

A confidential expression of interest document has been circulated to a number of forestry companies that have shown interest in diversifying with durable eucalypts.

“Our plan is to deliver tree-breeding, research and extension services to new shareholders in a similar way to that which the Radiata Pine Breeding Company undertakes for industry. We have exciting plans for more research, and want to focus our communication and education into building the capability needed for a New Zealand durable hardwood industry,” Van Ballekom said.

 Expressions of interest close on March 28.

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