Overview Objectives

Fuelwood is a crucial, but undeveloped, component of the domestic economy of PNG. Fuelwood plantations could directly enhance smallholder income and provide a pathway for rehabilitating grasslands. The main aim of this project was to establish a national fuelwood economy based on woodlots and agroforestry systems. Underpinning objectives were to describe and quantify the national fuelwood market, to establish in both lowland peri-urban and highland rural regions a range of fuelwood production systems as pilot projects, and to establish a community of practice which will ensure the wider adoption and long-term development of fuelwood production. Such a system will enable creation of business opportunities to supply a growing fuelwood market while at the same time providing opportunities to produce other products including seedlings, poles and fodder.

Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

The first year of this project was occupied with the fuelwood survey, identification of community collaborators„ establishment of two nurseries and establishment of 11 model planting sites covering the highlands and National Capital Development to evaluate fuelwood species and systems.
The fuelwood survey aims to understand the flow of fuelwood and the business environment surrounding it. Approximately 3,000 questionnaires were fielded in the National Capital District (NCD), Lae urban and rural districts (in Morobe Province), Mt Hagen urban and rural districts, (in Western Highlands) rural districts of Henganofi (Eastern Highlands) and Chuave (Chimbu Province). These areas were targeted by the survey because they are known to be fuelwood-stressed. Different questionnaires were presented to urban and rural domestic fuelwood users to assess the physical and social dimensions of their fuelwood and general energy use. Fuelwood sellers were also surveyed. In-depth monitoring of the daily fuelwood use of a representative range of households was undertaken to corroborate the estimates of fuelwood use made in the questionnaires. Our NGO partner, Foundation for People and Community Development (FPCD) undertook the groundwork for this part of the survey. Further understanding of the fuelwood economy was gained through semi-structured interviews of commercial or industrial users of fuelwood (e.g. hot-food vendors, lime burners, plantation factories etc) and institutional stakeholders in the fuelwood economy. This work was done by partners at the PNG Forest Research Institute (FRI). At the time of reporting the survey material is still being collated and analysed.
The aim of planting fuelwood species over a range of field sites and systems to evaluate performance under different environmental and management regimes and to serve as model plantings for communities to evaluate for their own application. The key innovation here is growing trees as short-rotation coppicing (SRC) systems. The experiment is not just to see how the trees grow, but also how the landholders respond to these ways of growing trees
The project has established both densely-planted woodlots (1.5m * 1.0m and 1.5m * 2.0m) and contour-hedgerow, or alley cropping, agroforestry systems (double-row hedgerows with 0.5m along row and 0.6m between rows, distance between hedgerows vary between 5-10 m depending on slope). There are 6 sites in Western Highlands, 2 sites in Chimbu province and 3 sites in the NCD. The species being trialled in the highlands as SRC woodlots are: Casuarina junghuhniana, C. oligodon, Eucalyptus grandis, E. pellita, and E. robusta. The highland alley cropping species are Calliandra calothyrsus, Casuarina junghuhniana and Leucaena diversifolia. The lowland SRC woodlot species in the NCD are Azadirachta indica, Casuarina equisetifolia, Casuarina junghuhniana, Calliandra calothyrsus, Eucalyptus alba, E. pellita and E. tereticornis
The ‘species of choice’ for highlanders is the local Casuarina oligodon, known as Yar. Yar is an excellent firewood which can be burnt very soon after harvest, but unfortunately it does not coppice. So we are trialling Casuarina junghuhniana which is indigenous to Indonesia, highly suitable for firewood and charcoal and reported to coppice. It is not found in PNG. Our farmers have responded well to the nickname of ‘Indoyar’ for this tree and are very pleased with its early growth which has far exceeded both the upland yar and coastal yar (C. equistifolia). Calliandra calothyrsus prefers relatively low altitudes and planting it in the uplands at altitudes of up to 2,000m may be considered by some to be ‘heroic’. But we hope that it will still perform well given the relatively favourable rainfall (annual average ~ 2,600mm) and temperature (average range 12 - 29C) of this region. So far, so good.
We sought to include indigenous high-altitude (>1500 m) species that could be developed as SRC firewood crops and farmers around Mt Hagen suggested Kumbuk (Thyllanthus flaviflorus). We have seen it grow well and fast from cuttings in a farmer’s field but so far our efforts with this species have not produced plants.
The eucalypts chosen include those evaluated in international trials and for which genetically improved seed was used (E. pellita, E. camaldulensis), species with a track record in PNG (E. grandis, E. robusta). as well as the local eucalypt round Port Moresby, E. alba. These will probably best be kept in woodlot systems rather than the hedgerow systems because of their known competitiveness with agricultural crops.
So far the trees in the majority of sites are growing very well and even where they are not flourishing we are still getting good information.
Approximately 18,000 trees have been planted with the on-ground direction of our NGO partners HOPEworldwide (in NCD) and Peoples Action for Rural Development (in highlands). Both NGOs were trained in nursery management and raised the project’s seedlings. Colleagues at FRI were closely involved with seed sowing, nursery training and tree establishment.

The essence of this project is to develop and promote short-rotation coppicing (SRC) fuelwood production systems as small business opportunity. The second year of this project was occupied with: the completion of the fuelwood survey and collation and analysis of its data; growth measurements of trees in 2 sites National Capital District (NCD), 6 sites in Western Highlands and 1 site in Chimbu Province; and search for more community collaborators in the NCD.
The fuelwood survey aims to understand the flow of fuelwood and the business environment surrounding it. The groundwork for the survey was completed by October 2009 resulting in 3,954 questionnaires of urban and rural domestic fuelwood users in the National Capital District (NCD), Lae, Mt Hagen (in Western Highlands), Henganofi (Eastern Highlands) and Chuave (Chimbu Province). These areas were targeted by the survey because they are known to be fuelwood-stressed. 156 fuelwood sellers were also interviewed. The data was collated on an Access database and is currently being analysed. A parallel study monitored the daily fuelwood use of 37 households to corroborate the estimates of fuelwood use made in the questionnaire survey. Further understanding of the fuelwood economy was gained through semi-structured interviews of 50 commercial or industrial users of fuelwood (e.g. hot-food vendors, lime burners, plantation factories etc) and institutional stakeholders in the fuelwood economy. Partners in this survey are the Foundation for People and Community Development and the PNG Forest Research Institute. The results of this analysis will soon be available, but part of the picture is: the fuelwood supply chain is very short and unsophisticated compared to similar tropical countries (while fuelwood retailing exists in specific locales it is not common); fuelwood is a relatively expensive but the only energy source for many people; there is a growing link between fuelwood collection and conflict; fuelwood selling is largely an opportunistic enterprise. The project still needs to determine what this means for the promotion of SRC production systems.
The aim of planting fuelwood species over a range of field sites and systems to evaluate performance under different environmental and management regimes and to serve as model plantings for communities to evaluate for their own application. The project has established both densely-planted woodlots and contour-hedgerow, or alley cropping, agroforestry systems.
The project has 3 replicated field trials to assess growth performance of a range of candidate short-rotation coppicing fuelwood species. Trees were planted at 1.5m * 1.0m and 1.5m * 2.0m spacings in randomised complete blocks with 4 replicates and 36 tree plots including a 20 tree buffer around each plot. These trials were measured for height, diameter, form and survival, at one year after planting in February 2010.
At the Bautama and Bomana fuelwood trials in the NCD seven species were assessed. Eucalyptus tereticornis followed by Azadirachta indica and E. pellita had the best height growth performance ( 3.3m, 2.8m and 2.5m respectively). The two casuarinas C.junghuhniana and C.equisetifolia while having less height growth and significantly less diameter growth still showed potential. E. alba and Calliandra calothyrsus had poor growth (both 1.6m). With the exception of Calliandra and E. alba, the other species had form scores above 2.7 out of 4 (1=poor to 4=good). There was only marginal differences between the two spacing treatments across species. This would suggest no effects between the close and wider spacings across the species. Plant survival at Bautama was 76% compared with 63% for Bomana. At both sites Calliandra constituted the greatest losses due to poor establishment. Survival was as high as 97% for A.indica at Bautama followed closely behind by E. tereticornis and E. pellita. The survival at Bomana was surprisingly high given the adverse growing conditions (flooding) with E. tereticornis having a 97% survival followed by 90% for A.indica.
Extensive efforts to increase the number of participating landholders surrounding the NCD were unsuccessful.
At the Pugamp field trial near Mt Hagen a slightly different range of species was evaluated. Of the 5 species evaluated E. grandis and E. robusta show the best height growth (4.4m and 4.1m respectively, but not statistically different). The local Casuariana oligodon (Yar) and introduced C.junghuhniana (‘Indoyar’) performed very similarly at the close spacing (3.7m) and the significantly poorest performing species was E. pellita (3.1m). These values are all for the closer spacing treatments (1.5m*1.0m). At the wider spacing (1.5m*2.0m) there was no significant difference in height for E. grandis and Yar, however all the other species showed significantly less height growth at the wider spacing (E. robusta 3.3m, Indoyar 2.8m, E. pellita 2.5m). This site is on much more fertile soil and higher rainfall than the NCD sites and the landholder weeded and intercropped crus-sago (choko vines) between the trees until canopy closure. The very high survival rate of 96% (range 92-100%)was probably due to the high quality locally raised seedlings and excellent site management from the landowner. Both casuarinas showed relatively high levels of heavy branching and twin leaders (Indoyar 18% , Yar 13%). In addition 20% of Indoyar carried yellow foliage suggesting that microbial nitrogen fixation was sub-optimal. The form ratings ranged from 3.1 (Indoyar widespaced) to 3.6 E. grandis and Yar (close spaced). The average form rating for closed and widespaced treatments were 3.5 and 3.2 respectively. Maximum stem diameters ranged from 4.0cm (Indoyar) to 6.9cm (E. grandis). The effect of spacing on stem diameter development is already apparent in E. grandis but less so in other species.
Growth responses of trees planted in landholder woodlots and alley cropping systems were slightly less than those in the replicated trial.

The essence of this project is to develop and promote short-rotation coppicing (SRC) fuelwood production systems as small business opportunity. The third year of this project was occupied with: completing analysis and writing the report of fuelwood survey; 2nd year growth measurements of trees in 2 sites National Capital District (NCD), 6 sites in Western Highlands and 1 site in Chimbu Province, a charcoal training workshop and planning extension activities.
The fuelwood survey aims to understand the flow of fuelwood and the business environment surrounding it. The groundwork for the survey was completed by October 2009 resulting in 3,954 questionnaires of urban and rural domestic fuelwood users in the National Capital District (NCD), Lae, Mt Hagen (in Western Highlands), Henganofi (Eastern Highlands) and Chuave (Chimbu Province). These areas were targeted by the survey because they are known to be fuelwood-stressed. 156 fuelwood sellers were also interviewed. A parallel study monitored the daily fuelwood use of 37 households to corroborate the estimates of fuelwood use made in the questionnaire survey. Further understanding of the fuelwood economy was gained through semi-structured interviews of 50 commercial or industrial users of fuelwood (e.g. hot-food vendors, lime burners, plantation factories etc) and institutional stakeholders in the fuelwood economy. This report provides a summary of key results of the questionnaire survey.
The fuelwood supply chain is very short and unsophisticated compared to similar tropical countries (while fuelwood retailing exists in specific locales it is not common); fuelwood is a relatively expensive but the only energy source for many people; there is a growing link between fuelwood collection and conflict; fuelwood selling is largely an opportunistic enterprise. The project still needs to determine what this means for the promotion of SRC production systems.
The aim of planting fuelwood species over a range of field sites and systems to evaluate performance under different environmental and management regimes and to serve as model plantings for communities to evaluate for their own application. The project has established both densely-planted woodlots and alley cropping, agroforestry systems.
The project has 3 replicated field trials to assess growth performance of a range of candidate short-rotation coppicing fuelwood species. Trees were planted at 1.5m * 1.0m and 1.5m * 2.0m spacings in randomised complete blocks with 4 replicates and 36 tree plots including a 20 tree buffer around each plot. These trials were measured for height, diameter, form and survival, at one and two years after planting in February 2010 and 2011 respectively.
This report only presents data from two of the Western Highland sites. At the Pugamp field trial near Mt Hagen 5 species were evaluated in a replicated trial. E. grandis and E. robusta show the best height growth (8.0m and 8.3m respectively, but not statistically different). The lowland species E. pellita performed relatively poorly (6.4m). The local Casuariana oligodon (Yar) continued to grow strongly (6.7m) but the introduced C.junghuhniana (‘Indoyar’) faltered due to lack of microbial nodulation (4.1m). These values are all for the closer spacing treatments (1.5m*1.0m). Estimates of air-dry firewood harvested from a 400m2 plot are 1400kg, 1500kg, 650kg, 850kg, 200kg respectively. Volume estimates of wood harvested from alley farm belts (10m spacing between belts) on a participating-farmer garden were for Calliandra was 19.3 m3/ha and Leucaena 12.5 m3/ha . Although Calliandra produces 60% less firewood than E.grandis or E.robusta for a given area, it can be harvested annually for many years. The eucalypts will only be able to harvest every second year, and perhaps only for 1 or 2 coppices.
Other activity for this period has been a training workshop in charcoal production for FRI and NGO staff, and planning for extension activities in the latter half of 2011.

Project Outcomes

A large survey of fuelwood use showed that PNG consumes 6 times more fuelwood than other Asian countries, and there is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to create a more sophisticated and sustainable fuelwood supply chain. Ten fuelwood species were evaluated in short-rotation coppicing (SRC) systems for growth and burning characteristics, and consumer and market acceptance. Eucalyptus grandis, E.pellita, E.robusta and E.tereticornis, and Calliandra calothrysus performed well in one or more of these evaluations. SRC systems can bring high returns to labour, but marketing will need consideration, since locals usually prefer buying conventional-looking firewood. The greatest potential for small business development is with charcoal production from SRC wood. Extension material about SRC fuelwood and charcoal production and use was developed and promoted by the Forest Research Institute at Lae, including brochures, posters and cooking demonstrations. Further promotion of SRC-fuelwood production systems should be based on establishing charcoal businesses.

Project ID
FST/2006/088
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Commissioned Organisation
University of Adelaide, Australia
Project Leader
Dr Ian Nuberg
Email
ian.nuberg@adelaide.edu.au
Phone
08 8313 0527
Fax
08 8313 7109
Collaborating Institutions
Ensis, Australia
Papua New Guinea Forest Research Institute, Papua New Guinea
Foundation for People and Community Development Inc., Papua New Guinea
W.R. Carpenter & Co. Estates Ltd, Papua New Guinea
People's Action for Rural Development, Papua New Guinea
HOPE worldwide, Papua New Guinea
Project Budget
$923,079.00
Start Date
01/01/2008
Finish Date
31/12/2011
Extension Start Date
01/01/2012
Extension Finish Date
30/06/2012
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Mr Tony Bartlett