9 August 2012

Zambia: Zaffico Studying How to Grow Trees Faster

Photo: Diliff/Wikipedia
Forest conservation.

THE Zambia Forest and Forestry Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) is undertaking a research that will help the firm to invest in early maturing plants to ensure sustainable supply of quality wood.

ZAFFICO plantation manager Nil Addo said the corporation was currently undertaking a research that would assist it invest in early maturing plants.

This would help the corporation to ensure there was sustainable supply of quality wood to meet the rising demand through effective management of exotic plantation for the benefit of the present and future generation.

"We are currently doing research because we are trying to see how we can actually raise the trees in the shortest period of time because our trees take 25 years to mature so we are looking at a possibility of trees maturing within seven years instead of 25 years," he said.

In an interview at the just-ended 86th Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show in Lusaka, Mr Addo said the company was currently looking at developing new planting methods that support early maturing.

Mr Addo said the company employs more than 2,000 seasonal workers and 200 permanent staff.

Mr Addo also said the company would soon create more timber plantations outside the Copperbelt as part of its expansion programme.

He said the firm would expand the industry outside Copperbelt Province to other parts of the province, saying that there was growing demand for timber products by the local construction industry.

Mr Addo said the corporation would expand into Muchinga and Luapula provinces before moving to other areas because it was one way of creating jobs for the local people.

"We have embarked on an expansion project that will see us move outside the Copperbelt to other provinces such as Muchinga and Luapula," Mr Addo said.

He said ZAFFICO had this year alone planted 3,000 hectares of land due to the demand of timber in the country which has more than doubled.

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