Novelquip Forestry (Pty) Ltd
Overview of innovation

As global populations grow, so does the demand for timber and its by-products, putting an ever-increasing strain on this natural resource. The best way to fight climate change is to plant trees. But silviculture (tree planting) practices remain highly inefficient in both commercial forestry and regeneration projects, consisting of several manual and semi-mechanized operations. The cost and scarcity of labour, the harsh, strenuous and unsafe working conditions (not considered ‘decent work’), urbanisation and remote locations of forests is putting foresters globally under pressure to mechanize and modernize these activities. But there is a paucity of suitable solutions as OEMs in the forestry equipment sector have traditionally focused exclusively on developing harvesting equipment. Novelquip Forestry has developed the world’s first fully automated seedling planter. 

Novelquip’s fully mechanized ProPlant tree planting solution uses integrated systems engineering to combine the critical operations of soil preparation, water or hydra-gel application, fertilizer application, seedling planting and weedicide application. In addition, it digitally transforms the entire operation from planning and planting to reporting. The solution enhances efficiency, precision and consistency in operations by combining several separate operations into one cost-effective, digitally transformed operation, reducing costs and facilitating improved decision-making. The entire operation is electronically controlled to ensure consistent, precision operations. 

Economic advantages: Increases the quality and consistency of plantings, reducing mortality and increasing yield. Integrating operations increases efficiency. Digitization enables precision operations; generates intelligence to optimize management. 

Social advantages: state of the art ergonomic and safety features ensures decent, safe jobs and working environments in forestry as well as higher skilled and higher paid jobs.

Environmental advantages: facilitates minimum tillage and optimal use of inputs such as fertilizer and herbicide. Provides a cost-effective way to plant trees at scale to fight climate change faster and more efficiently, as well as to make commercial forestry more sustainable.

Innovation Opportunity Type
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
Plant and Health Nutrition
Technology Readiness Level
TRL 6 – Prototype tested in real-world settings
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