Fiji’s Mahogany Timber (Swietenio Macrophyla) is a renewable resource from plantation forests.
Swietenia macrophylla (mahogany) was first introduced to Fiji from Central America as an ornamental in 1911 and showed such promise that small trial plantations were established at Colo-i-Suva, Nadarivatu, and several other sites from 1952 onwards.
Looking to the future and the generation of income and employment, diversification of the country’s trade commodities and at the same time maintaining the multiple benefits and services of an intact forest cover, the Fiji Government and landowning communities began an extensive planting program of the non indigenous tree species, Mahogany in the early 1950’s. It takes about 30 to 40 years for a tree to mature and ready for harvest.
Seeing the potential to create employment and wealth opportunity for its peoples, the Fijian government authorised large plantations of genuine mahogany. Capitalising on the demand of a luxurious wood that was running in short supply, they cultivated a business model that ensured that the mahogany would be sustainable. They provided the watchful eye and enforced regulations to ensure the longevity of the mahogany forests for generations to come.