Website to promote legal timber trading launched

Nature Development Foundation (NDF), a non-governmental organisation on Tuesday launched a website with the aim of promoting the legal trading of timber in the country.

The website is also expected to assist both buyers and sellers with a common platform to easily transact their businesses.

The  foundation also  introduced a  mobile  application known  as Ghana Timber Market on the  Google Playstore  to help  both  vendors and  customers  have easy  access to a ready market

Launching both platforms, the  Director of  NDF,  Mustapha  Seidu said the  difficulty associated with  finding vendors  who trade  in legal timber  would soon be a thing of the past as  both platforms  sought to address challenges confronting the  sector.

 He  said  mobile  application and  website would  only host legal lumber vendors  and link  them up  to prospective  buyers.

According to Mr Seidu, there was the need to modernise the timber business in the country as people only saw the business as  transitory.

He  said illegal wood  had  become  easily  accessible  and  dominant on the market  thereby  making it  difficult for  consumers to identify  vendors  who  trade in legal timber.

“With this website, only registered and certified vendors can be found on it and I believe it would help to sanitise the market as well as ease the work of the Forestry Commission,” he added.

 Mr Seidu said both platforms had been piloted in some parts of the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions with some vendors expressing their reservations.

 He said the reservations of the vendors had been considered and factored into both platforms, adding  that  they would be  trained and  sensitized  on how to  effectively  use  both platforms.

He, therefore, urged vendors to register with the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission to ensure they are certified to engage in legal business.

Mr Richmond  Chris-Koka, Director at Gain ExLabs, developers of the website and  mobile app,  said   both platforms would be managed  by the  Forestry  Commission  and would  have to approve timber  products  before  they are  uploaded.

 He said  it  would also allow both  customers and  vendors  to  send  feedback  to  the  Forestry Commission.

Mr Chris-Koka  advised  vendors  and customers to  judiciously use  both platforms to  grow  their  business and purchase legal  wood.

BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU

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