THE Deputy Commissioner for Tanzania Forest Services (TFS), Mr Edgar Masunga, has called upon the Northern Forest Industries Association (NOFIA) leadership to set up a marketing unit that would enable them market their products abroad.
Mr Masunga made the remarks, while addressing the 11th NOFIA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region, recently, adding: "May I take this opportunity to urge you to create strategic plans, which would enable you secure markets outside the outside the country, instead of depending on the government to do that for you. Emulate those in the tourism sector, who by promoting their products have secured many clients."
He further called upon them to ensure they adhere to quality as they process their products in order to compete in the international markets.
"Substandard forest products won't do you good, may I take this opportunity to advise you to focus on good quality. When you are processing your products see into it that you become competent in order to compete in the international market. "Export markets for forest products require high quality products, I urge the stakeholders involved in the processing of these products to take this into account to avoid a drop in demand of forest products from our country," he pointed out.
On his part, the Chairman of NOFIA Eng Frank Karonge, called upon the government to create conducive environments which would help villages, schools and religious institutions surrounding forests farms to benefit from finished timber products instead of acquiring logs, which he said are forced to be processed first before utilisation.
Earlier reporting on the association's progress, NOFIA's Executive Secretary, Steven Shirima, said their members and other forest business stakeholders in the Northern regions invested a total of 24.25bn/- in the forest sector between December 2019 and December, 2020.
"According to recent statistics from a census that was conducted by NOFIA, so far there are a total of 360 forest products industries of which, 295 are NOFIA members," he said.