About 60 local timber companies have collapsed in the last 10 years, leading to the loss of about 30,000 jobs.
Companies that had managed to survive the turbulence in the industry are currently producing below 50 per cent capacity.
The Chief Executive of the Ghana Timber Millers Organisation (GTMO), Dr Kwame Asamoah Adam, made this known in an interview with graphic.com.gh in Kumasi after the opening of the annual general meeting of the Forestry Senior Staff Association (FOSSA) at Akyawkrom near Ejisu in the Ashanti Region Friday.
He said the situation was self-inflicted, adding that “We have waited for far too long for the timber industry to take a nosedive and it is very unfortunate,” he said.
Dr Adam mentioned policies on value added products, illegal logging and policies on effective forest management among others as having had combined effects on the timber industry.
The situation, he said, had been compounded by high interest rates and electricity tariffs as well as high cost of fuel.
Dr Adam, however, indicated that the initiatives of the Forestry Commission (FC) and the private sector on plantation development had given some hope for the future.
Over the past few years, he said, a number of plantations had been established which were expected to solve the problem of raw material shortage in the future. But for the period that the plantations would take to mature, companies would have to struggle to survive, he pointed out.
Addressing the FOSSA meeting, the Executive Director of the Forestry Commission (FC), Mr Raphael Yeboah, said the management of the commission would continue to count on the association to drive the industry.
The meeting was on the theme: “Enhancing the contribution of senior staff towards an effective Forestry Commission,” “We need to lessen the challenges facing the industry so that the nation can derive maximum benefits from the industry,” Mr Yeboah said.
Fortunately, he said, the FC had a solid human resource base capable of confronting the challenges.”
Source: Daily Graphic
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