A Marlborough forestry initiative to establish plantations of high-quality hard woods in New Zealand is about to move into top gear.
The Dryland Forests Initiative has been granted almost $400,000 from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's sustainable farming fund.
The grant will add that to funding from other sources to help establish forests of genetically-improved durable eucalypts in drier regions.
The aim is to replace some of the $270 million worth of of hard woods imported each year with locally grown timber.
One potential market is the wine industry, which is looking for a supply of long-lasting posts as an alternative to using chemically treated pine posts in vineyards.
The Marlborough Lines company, which is a partner in the project, also wants locally-grown hard wood for the cross arms on its power poles.