Menongue — Timber traders in Cuando Cubango province have accumulated losses of 125 billion kwanzas from 2018 until now, due to the non-transformation of roundwood in the logging areas.
According to Miguel Tchiyovo, chairperson of the loggers' association, who was speaking Saturday after his election to the post, the loggers have in stock over the last two years more than 40,000 cubic metres of roundwood, but they cannot export it without first processing it locally into boards to add value to the product, in compliance with ministerial decree 274/17, which banned the cutting, circulation and transport of roundwood throughout the country.
To overcome the stalemate, the companies are waiting for the reactivation of the Menongue Industrial Pole, so that the sawmills can function and allow the transformation of the wood, to be later exported.
He also said that the members were in a complicated situation as the forestry campaign, which began on 1 May and ended on 31 October, had not yet begun, as they had not received their exploration licenses.
Miguel Tchiyovo said that the situation is painful because the members have made investments and cannot get the money back.
The biggest concern is to allow the companies that have licenses to take advantage of the time that remains to complete the wood harvesting work.
According to the president, this year the association has not benefited from new licenses, so he asks the government to review the situation in order to help alleviate the unemployment problem in the region.