Assessing the current situation of Ghana’s forest products industry

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 10:27

The forest products sector in Ghana is a major contributor to the country’s employment and economic growth. 0onetheless, the industry is increasingly being constrained by acute raw material shortages due to excessive harvest of timber, illegal logging and other anthropogenic activities. The extent to which the industry is impacted by raw material decline is uncertain. To determine appropriate future steps to help curb the overexploitation of timber, we have investigated the current situation by determining the log felling volumes of the leading exporters of wood products, the scope of the industry and the impacts of raw material decline. We have also determined the benefits that companies offer to neighboring communities. Data was gathered from a survey of the managing directors of the companies. Key indicators of natural resources scarcity were used to determine some of the variables that were studied. The results show that, more than just providing jobs and income locally, the industry also undertakes
rural development projects. However, the total volume of logs that the industry consumes far surpasses the annual allowable cut. The impact of raw material decline is reflected in the rise in the adoption of lesser-used species, increasing raw material costs, and declining raw material quality. It is suggested that the government support the Timber Validation Department to help curb illegal logging. Continued research to develop a policy and change management framework for the adoption of alternative fast growing fiber materials to supplement natural timber is also proposed.

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana
Attachment Size
forest_products_industry.pdf 259.72 KB