Home / General News / Ghana to import timber from Cameroon – Report

Ghana to import timber from Cameroon – Report

Share this with more people!

Ghana intends to import timber from Cameroon to feed local sawmills, a Reuters report cites Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mike Hammah as telling reporters after a two-day trip to that country Monday April 23, 2012.

He was quoted as saying, “We have so many sawmills but then the raw material is lacking because over the years there has been excessive exploitation.”

According to the Minister local sawmills lack the raw materials to operate fully.

At the turn of the 20th Century, Ghana’s forests covered around 8.2 million hectares of land.

But by the late 1980s, the forest cover has shrunk to less than 18,000 km2, which means a reduction of the forest cover to 2.1 million hectares.

By the year 2007, the forest cover of the country has been reduced significantly to 1.6 million hectares. Forestry sources say since independence from Great Britain in 1957, the annual rate of forest loss has been averaging 65,000 hectares yearly.

And according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, between the year 2000 and 2005 Ghana lost an average of 115,400 hectares of forest per year.

The decline rate of Ghana’s forests was so alarming that a former Minister of Lands and Forestry in the NDC government, Dr. Kwabena Adjei once expressed the fear that, Ghana will become a net importer of wood in the 21st century if immediate reforestation is not vigorously pursued, taking into account the country’s population and diminishing forest resources.

In 2009 when the Ministry of Lands and Forestry took stock of the forest resources of the country, it was found that the cover which was about 8.3 million hectares in the year 2000 had shrunk to 1.5 million hectares in the year 2006. The analysis was made then that if the current rate of depletion of 65,000 hectares continued, Ghana would have no forests in 23 years’ time.

Meanwhile, the country’s rich forests contribute about five to eight per cent of GDP and it is 15% of merchandise exports. As at 2008, forest products, especially timber are the third highest foreign exchange earner for Ghana’s economy after cocoa and gold. Every year Ghana earns some $300 million from timber products. The country’s largest importers are Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy and Britain.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

Share this with more people!

Check Also

Kumasi Customs Division mobilizes GH₵184.5m as revenue by July

The Ashanti Regional Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) generated a total of …