Mr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry has advised furniture companies to invest in tree plantations to assure them of raw material for their operation.
He said it was in their own interest to help replant the destroyed forests and to increasingly take to the use of the lesser-known tree species.
Mr. Spio-Garbrah, who was on a two-day working visit to the Ashanti Region to interact with businesses, made the call when he toured the Logs and Lumber Limited – a timber company at Asokwa, in Kumasi.
He was in the region to acquaint himself with the performance of the local businesses, the challenges and the way forward to aid their growth, as part of the effort to deepen the relationship between his ministry and the private sector.
He noted that the growing depletion of the nation’s forest was crippling the operation and fuelling the collapse of many furniture companies.
Over 100 tree species that used to serve as vital raw material for the furniture producers were now extinct, he said.
The Minister highlighted the need for the companies to demonstrate innovativeness – to add value to their finished products.
They should also find new ways of doing things to survive the stiff competition from their foreign counterparts.
Mr. Spio-Garbrah had earlier interacted with the management of the Royal Foam Ghana Limited and Ababio Gyamfua Investments Limited – manufacturers of roofing sheets and aluminium products and inspected the Boankra Inland Port project.
He underlined the government’s determination to actively engage private businesses and work hard to address the problems they faced.
At Boankra, he announced that funds were being sought to complete the in-land port project.
The management of the various companies were unanimous in their call to the government to find a lasting solution to the energy crisis, which they said was badly affecting their operations.