Standards and Criteria
Before any payment is made from the scheme the grower needs to comply with certain requirements.
The first of these is to draw up a Management Plan, which is required before any Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS) contract is agreed upon.
The second requirement is to ensure that the SPGS clients' crop grows optimally and has the best chance of producing a high quality, high value product at the time of felling. The SPGS has strict criteria to ensure that a quality high value crop is produced. These criteria will have to be met by applicants prior to receiving any funds. The following checklist shows the key areas, which are assessed:
- ·Planting is as per management plan:
- All aspects of the management plan are agreed to, planting, fire breaks, environmental concerns and such. The management plan forms part of the contract, not following it is a breach.
- Evidence of seed origin from approved sources:
- To get the best trees we have to use the best seed. In most cases only improved seed from tree breeding programmes is permitted e.g. Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis from Australia, Brazil and South Africa; Eucalyptus grandis from Southern African seed orchards etc.
- Plant espacement (for timber crops):
- Plant espacement affects how the tree grows and also the initial establishment costs.
- Good seedling quality:
- Putting sick, weak or malformed seedlings into the ground is a waste of time and money and will give us a poor crop.
- Adequate land preparation prior to planting:
- Putting a good seedling into poorly prepared areas makes it difficult or impossible for that seedling to reach it's potential.
- Good weed control:
- Weeding gives the seedling space and nutrients to grow, weeds steel this from our seedlings.
- Survival of at least 80% of planted trees:
- We need a viable amount of trees to select from and to colonize the site. Stocking less than 80% needs to be replanted or beaten up.
- Protection from fires and animals:
- Having a good stand burn down after millions have been spent on it is a waste when often some basic protection measures could have prevented it.
- Safe use of approved herbicides:
- To keep on top of weeds we need to use modern methods of weed control. The use of herbicides is the most common of those methods.
- Taungya is not permitted in any of the planted areas:
- Food crops in amongst our trees act as weeds and compete for light, space, water and nutrients from our primary crop ? the trees.
- Watercourses and wetlands not planted:
- We have to act in a professional and environmentally friendly manner. One of the crucial areas is that we do not destroy wetlands or water courses. Such areas must be clearly identified in the Management Plan and protected
- Areas of natural high forest protected:
- Natural high forests are a national asset and need to be protected.
- Detailed checklists have been developed by the SPGS TA's and more are being compiled to guide the grower