The Forestry Commission (FC) acting in concert with the Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) and Tropenbos International, a non-governmental organization (NGO), are pioneering a project to train chain saw operators into artisanal millers.
This is to help address problems associated with the production of illegal lumber for the domestic market.
It is under the European Union’s (EU) five-year chain saw project, aimed at assisting to develop alternatives for illegal lumbering through multi-stakeholder dialogue.
Miss Mercy Owusu-Ansah, an official of Tropenbos, said they would build the capacity of the chain saw operators by exposing them to improved timber milling technology.
Addressing a stakeholder meeting at Juaso in the Asante-Akim South District, she said chain saw milling in the country was wasteful and ruinous.
The project, therefore, seeks to bring some level of efficiency to stop the degradation of forest resources and the environment.
She said alternative livelihood would be provided to those ready to quit the business and go into other trades.
Miss Owusu-Ansah underlined the need to find innovative ways to deal with the problem of chain saw milling, which has proven difficult to stop over the years.
Although outlawed since 1998, it has continued to flourish and become the main source of lumber supply for the growing domestic market, generating rural income and employment.
She said Artisanal millers, who come together to form associations would be introduced to a technology known as “logosol” to make them more efficient.
Participants at the meeting included chain saw operators, lumber brokers, buyers, timber contractors and saw millers.
They welcomed the initiative and said they were hopeful that it would help to keep them in business.