Govt urged to invest in timber plantations

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:28:20 +0000




GOVERNMENT should consider developing huge timber plantations to match the demand which will arise in the next 8-10 years and use the funds from timber sales to sustain debts in the long-term, Lubinda Habazoka has suggested.

Dr Habazoka, an economist, said in an interview that such an initiative would help Government in servicing some of its debts in the long-term as timber was a viable business which would bring in foreign exchange.

“In the next 10 years, I predict that the demand for timber is going to be very high and this is one of the ways of enhancing natural resources.

“If people that are very good at forestry economics calculate what I am talking about, you are going to find that in the next 10 years Government will be sitting on abundant wealth if we did so,” he said.

Dr Habazoka explained that the timber initiative which took between 8-10 years to be ready for harvesting was among the most efficient ways of collecting funds which could also be channelled to other economic sectors, other than servicing debts.

He said Government could sell the timber once harvested anywhere in the world in form of logs. Dr Habazoka said developing a timber plantation did not require huge capital expenditure.

“When you look at what is obtaining in Africa and even in Europe and Asia, the construction sector is one of the leading sectors and natural resources are dwindling. You can even see the timber situation here. Dr Kenneth Kaunda did this for us and that is why we are enjoying this timber we are throwing around.

“If we came up with the idea four years ago, now we could have been seeing a difference. If you calculate the price of a log, the land that we have and the demand, we can sell that timber to China and other countries and make a lot of money which we need to come up with in a green business,” he said.


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