Timber factory to create 3,000 jobs

THE Zambia National Association of Sawmillers (ZNAS) has started developing a timber value addition cluster at a cost of over K200,000 in Lufwanyama district.
The timber factory is expected to create about 3,000 jobs and will house more than 170 sawmillers from the Copperbelt Province and surrounding areas.
Once completed, the factory will allow for value addition to locally produced timber and therefore raise export revenue from the commodities.
Association general secretary William Bwalya said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that the development of a timber cluster in chief Lumpuma’s area is progressing well.
“We are happy that the Ministry of Finance has come on board. They want to connect the cluster to the national electricity grid.  We have already made the access roads and some of our colleagues are already operating in the area. They are using sawmills that are powered by petrol, which is very expensive,” he said.
Mr Bwalya commended the Government for its commitment to developing the timber industry in the country.
He said the creation of a timber cluster in Lufwanyama will go a long way in fostering development in the area.
“It is important to note that Zambia is exporting its timber cheaply. We need to do something to ensure that we benefit from our timber. We are working with the Zambia Bureau of Standards to ensure that we improve the standard and grading of our timber,” he said.
Mr Bwalya also thanked the Finnish Embassy in Zambia for its continued support to his association.

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