Lack of modern technology and funds affecting forestry industry
“Ghana’s reliance on natural forests for commercial purposes and our inability to replant trees fell can also be said to be factors militating against the forestry industry, “Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Commission, said in Accra.
Mr Dartey, who was addressing the opening session of a day’s seminar organised by Ghana Institute of Foresters (GIF) on Tuesday, called for the establishment of special funds to cater for the forestry sector.
The seminar was attended by participants from Association of Ghana Industries, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Forestry Commission and Environmental protection Agency.
Mr Dartey appealed to government to understudy countries like Brazil and Chile, which had made headway in the forestry industry, to totally reform the sector to stimulate individual and corporate investment.
Mr Kwame Antwi Oduro, Research Scientist, Forestry Institute of Ghana, cited lack of plantation strategy, poor access to improved planting materials, heat rot in the teak tree and the relatively slow growth of some species as some of the challenges facing the timber industry in the country.
“Poor handling of planting stock, poor managerial skills and weak efficient plantation extension services could also be cited as some of the challenges facing the timber industry in the country,” he added.
Dr Kwame Adam, National President, GIF urged stakeholders in the industry to work towards shaping the nation’s forestry policy to make it attractive to prospective investors.
He bemoaned instances whereby human activities had impacted negatively on the nation’s forest and the environment.
“I would urge all and sundry to endeavour to replace every tree that we fell for the betterment of our forests and the environment,” he added.
Dr Adam said that GIF would organise seminar in all regional capitals for the benefit of members outside the Greater Accra Region and appealed to corporate organisations to sponsor its activities.
In an open forum, the participants called for the provision of special manned seed centres for local foresters to purchase, availability of land for potential forestry investors and provision of expertise to local foresters.