Local Business

ZAFFICO pressed to meet demand

THE Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) will this year harvest a total of 470, 000 cubic metres of wood which will be distributed to about 1, 071 customers.
Company secretary Morgan Mukwasa said on Friday during a stakeholders meeting that ZAFFICO received about 1,071 inquiries from customers across the country.
“Last year we harvested the same number of wood and we only had 587 customers but the number has now doubled. This is why we have called for this meeting so that we can strategise with the customers,” he said.
“We still have the same number of wood for distribution but the number of applicants has gone up by almost 100 percent. So the issue we are handling now is how we will share the little that we have to those who have applied,” Mr Mukwasa said.
He also urged the customers to grow trees and not depend solely on ZAFFICO for wood.
Zambia National Association for Sawmillers (ZNAS) secretary William Bwalya called for transparency and accountability in the distribution of wood.
Mr Bwalya said there is need for Government to ban the export of timber in order to meet the local demand.
And ZNAS president Peter Kabamba said it is sad that the sector is still operating under the 1973 Forest Act.
Mr Kabamba said the current Forest Act does not allow anyone to establish forest plantations.
“We hope that when the 1998 Forest Act is enforced, many people will be empowered to establish plantations around the country,” he said.

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