The forestry sector has been depressed for the last two years. However, the government is now anticipating that the sector may start to recover in 2018. This assertion was recently made by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman to the National Assembly as he contributed to the 2018 Budget debates.
Addressing the Speaker, Trotman said that over the past 10 years, the forest sector employed approximately 20,000 persons annually, with approximately 4,500 employed at the community forestry association level. He said that the sector has contributed between US$40M-US$60M annually in export value over the past 10 years, with a yearly production of timber and plywood ranging between 330,00m3 to 500,000m3 annually.
However, Trotman said that the years 2016 and 2017 were challenging in terms of revenue generation since both domestically and globally, there was decline in the demand for forest produce. In addition, Trotman said that 2016 and 2017 saw a transitioning forestry sector, whereby efforts were made to improve the management and oversight in terms of concession issuance, management and monitoring.
The Minister said that in 2017, the forest sector faced several challenges inclusive of a lower domestic demand, lower prices for tropical timber products and a general contracting of international markets.
Trotman told the House that in spite of the challenges, 2017 production levels and exports are expected to be approximately 320,000m3 and US$40M respectively.
He said, however, that in 2018, production and export levels are expected to increase by 8-10 percent to 352,000 m3 and US$43M respectively, compared to 2017. Projected income for the Commission is G$1,340,000,000 while projected expenditure is G$1,314,311,750 for a surplus of G$25,688,250.
Trotman also told the House of a budgetary allocation that was given for a National Forest Inventory to be conducted. He said that this assessment is likely to begin implementation in 2018 to inventorize at least 200,000 hectares and conclude in 2020, and will see much needed information on forest stocking and species distribution becoming available for forest management and planning purposes.
The Minister stated that this initiative will positively influence forest sector marketing and trade efforts. In addition, Trotman said that a proposal is being crafted for a Consolidated Stock Yard through a Private Public Partnership that will assure a reliable supply of quality timber products to the domestic and export market.
Sep 22, 2018The 2018 Indigenous Heritage Games (IHG) was officially kicked off by Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Sydney Allicock yesterday morning at the at the Everest Cricket Club (ECC) Ground,...
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