Samartex pledges funding for FRI

Samartex Timber and Plywood Company Limited has pledged to support the funding of research projects of the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-FORIG).

Besides wood processing, Samartex which is located in Samreboi in the Western Region is involved in the regeneration of the natural resources at its disposal through the establishment of plantation and agro-forestry schemes. 

According to the Managing Director of the timber company, Richard Nsenkyire, the move was to enable the Institute to undertake more demand-driven research, build capacity and promote the application of technologies for sustainable management of forest resources for the benefit of society.

This, he said, was in line with the government’s public-private partnership agenda to contribute to the development of industrial processes.

He was speaking at a seminar on “Emerging Timber Species on the Market”, organised by the CSIR-FORIG, here at Fumesua.

Mr Nsenkyire, who is also the Chairman of the Forest Industry Association of Ghana, however, urged the Institute to ensure their “research meets the needs of the industry.”

“I believe CSIR-FORIG has done a lot of research works, but they are sitting on the shelves because the industry players do not find the need for their utilisation”, he bemoaned, and stressed the importance of effective collaboration for knowledge sharing for the betterment of the society.

Research Scientists, the academia, officials from the timber industry development division, carpenters, among other stakeholders participated in the seminar to brainstorm on the necessary policies regarding the emerging timber species on the market.

About 2.5 decades ago, CSIR-FORIG promoted 35 lesser known timber tree species and matched up their technological properties for efficient utilization which are on the market attracting millions of dollars yearly.

But in recent times, survey on the timber market by the CSIR-FORIG, revealed another set of lesser known timber species (about 28 of them) on the market, but their technological properties are not known and are being used improperly thereby generating lots of waste.

Apart from resulting in more wood harvest from the forest and impacting negatively on the environment, end users are at risk as wood dealers sell what are not even meant for construction of houses, like roofing.

Mr Nsenkyire noted that the forests structure had changed with time but because of lack of effective collaboration between researchers and the industry players “everybody is doing his own thing.”

He said gone were the days when trade fairs were organised to showcase woods that could be utilised and for the industry to play its role well, the research should meet the needs of the industry which boils down to effective collaboration.

Director of CSIR-FORIG, Prof Daniel A.Ofori, welcomed the idea of collaboration to collectively mobilise resources to streamline the industry.

Commending the Management of Samartex Timber and Plywood Company Limited for pledging to support research findings, Professor Ofori, said the Institute would continue to address issues on scientific and industrial research in the country.

FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, FUMESUA

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