Research team calls for special attention to wood products, pellet production

The Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission (FC) has stressed the need for further research into engineered woods and pellets production, to help maximize their benefits and usage. Engineered woods are made by binding pieces of real wood, scrap wood, shredded wood fibres or sawdust with adhesives, to create products which are stronger and durable. Mr Samuel Mawuli Doe, the Research and Statistics Manager of FC, who led a trade mission and fact-finding team from TIDD and other key stakeholders to India and Vietnam, said this had become necessary due to the rate at which Ghana was losing the traditional timber products. Speaking at the presentation of the Team's findings and the Trend Analysis of Ghana Timber and Wood Products Exports at Akyawkrom, near Ejisu, he said a proposal had been written for funding for further research to be conducted in the use and benefits of engineered woods and called on industry players to support the course. As part of the recommendations made from the findings, the Research team proposed the promotion of lesser-use tree species, since they were abundant in the forest and could supplement the loss of major timber species. Mr Doe said during a visit to Thailand, the team observed that a wood processing company was doing a lot with rubber wood and acacia species, whereas in Ghana acacia was only used for firewood. This trend, he pointed out, must change, and industry players, researchers and other stakeholders must come on board to promote the use of lesser-known species to help sanitise the ecosystem. Other lessons learnt, according to the Research and Statistics Manager, were prioritising value addition, especially of teak, optimising machinery and total productivity, tissue culture and fast-growing seed and plantation species as well as the direction of trade. He said Ghana's focus had shifted from the traditional to plantation timber where the country was doing about 56 percent of exports in teak. According to him, the direction of trade mos tly to India, was quite dangerous looking at how market trends could change. 'We cannot rely solely on India; we must do more of value addition but first we will build the capacity of all parties involved to be able to stand the test of time' he indicated. Between 2001- 2011 and 2012-2022, Ghana exported 4,765,025.07 cubic meters and 3,404,654.75 cubic meters of tree species respectively. The main importing countries of teak had been India, Italy, Vietnam, China, and Taiwan among others. Source: Ghana News Agency