PLANS are underway by the Tanzania Forest Service Agency (TFS) to establish an industrial timber park in Mufindi, Iringa Region, to effectively utilise market opportunities within and outside the country.
TFS Deputy Commissioner for Conservation Mr Mohamed Kilongo, said that the park would enable timber dealers to do their business in one area contrary to the present situation where everyone was doing it on their own.
He said the park would also help to make use of wood residuals from timber processing such as sawdust, bark and sawmill slabs.
Mr Kilongo was speaking in Mufindi this week, during his meeting with timber dealers benefiting from Sao Hill forest plantation.
"After visiting this plantation, I discovered that more than 50 per cent of the residuals are being disposed," he said.
He directed the timber suppliers to come up with a proposal before April this year on where the industrial park should be established to serve the Southern highland zone.
Mr Kilongo added that the park would also serve customers from neighbouring countries in need of quality timber.
He said the government was determined to enhance technology that would increase efficiency in the sector.
He cited South Africa, saying that its recovery rate was very high and wood residuals were effectively utilised.
“We are going to issue policy directives on what kind of machines should be used in cutting wood logs ... we are going to oversee the implementation of the law,” Mr Kilongo stressed.
He, however, informed the traders that according to research, the minimum number of workers in sawmill industries was 14.
“The logging section should have five people, at the forest five, and those working in the factory should be nine.” he said.
Mr Kilongo said that by having such a number of workers, they would be in a good position to minimise operational, skimming and administration costs.