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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Ranking Research and Development Needs of Silvicultural Operations for a Plantation Forestry Cooperative

Sibiya, Zimbili Bonisiwe; Haggstrom, Carola; Talbot, Bruce

Abstract

Forest Owners Organizations can help small- and medium-scale private landowners stay competitive by conducting and sharing research and development (R & D) activities. This study evaluated R & D needs for silvicultural operations to inform an R & D strategy for the cooperative. Individual and group priorities were collected using the Analytical Hierarchy Process via a web survey and web meeting. Consensus in priorities was followed by an assessment of the cooperative's capacity to carry out in-house research. Two regional managers, eight plantation managers and one R & D/Technology manager participated in one or more stages of the process. Participants ranked most silvicultural operations similarly. However, the variation was largest for harvest residue, seedling, and stump management. Minor regional differences were found but both regions (south and north) had "very high" group consensus indicators (86.2% and 89%, respectively). The group decision ranked R & D in harvest residue management as the highest priority, followed by soil preparation and planting methods. The cooperative's strongest capacity for in-house research was in the execution of the experimental design to address the research questions (implementation). The weakest research capacity was found in terms of harvest residue, seedling, and stump management. Hence, the cooperative is dependent on research institutions. These findings can be used to inform and align the cooperative's R & D strategy, investments, and their research collaborations.

Keywords

Analytical hierarchy process (AHP); Decision-making; Appropriate technology; R & D strategy; Cooperatives

Published in

Small-Scale Forestry
2023, Volume: 22, number: 4, pages: 669–692
Publisher: SPRINGER