Government says it remains committed to creating an enabling environment for increased timber production despite the prevailing economic challenges in the country.
Speaking at the commissioning of five haulage trucks, four tractors and a compressor purchased to the tune of US$550 000 by Allied Timbers in Nyanga this Wednesday, the Acting Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Mangaliso Ndlovu said the acquisition of the new equipment is a step towards meeting current and future timber demands of the nation and beyond.
“It is encouraging to see such investments being made to improve the operations of the company. It is my hope that the fortunes of Allied Timbers continue to improve and it operates at optimum capacity and that the company will post a dividend to government in the near future. Increasing the productive capacity of Allied Timbers should be matched with corresponding capacity of sustainably manage the biological resources. The current afforestation rate is not enough to bridge the predicted timber deficit in the future. It is therefore critical for the company to increase its afforestation rate and increase efforts towards minimising losses to fire, pests and diseases,” he said.
Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba emphasised the need to protect the timber industry through planting more trees.
“We need to green Manicaland. We must adopt a deliberate policy to ensure that 10 trees are planted in place of each cut. I will personally supervise and make sure that the forestry sector performs well. Tree planting must be the password for tree felling. So no planting no log on,” said Dr Gwaradzimba.
Allied Timbers Board Chair, Mr Itai Ndudzo said their organisation remains committed to recapitalising production of timber in the country.
“We are implementing the procurement of a state of the art central forest nursery whose construction should be complete before end of the year. The forest nursery will reduce the overall cost of raising seedlings as well as improve control on the quality of seedling that we require for re-greening,’ said Mr Ndudzo.
Allied Timbers is a key player in the timber industry as it supplies timber and its products to various sectors of the economy.