GOVERNMENT has promised to support private commercial forest investors by solving challenges that face them.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Dr Alloyce Nziku gave the promise when he officiated at a one-day workshop to discuss opportunities and challenges that face private commercial tree farmers.
The event was organised on Saturday by the Forestry Development Trust (FDT) and African Forestry.
He said that a recent study conducted in 31 villages of Njombe and Iringa regions indicates that there are about 1, 700 private commercial tree farmers living in urban areas who have invested in a total area of 200,000 hectares.
"This is quite a big number of individuals who have decided to invest in this area. In realising the importance of this sector, the government has been providing its support in various ways including giving guidelines in planting commercial trees and providing education on the best ways to prevent wild fire," he said.
For his part, Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) Executive Director Prof Dos Santos Silayo said that trees takes more years from planting to harvesting compared to other agricultural crops and therefore proper guidelines need to be applied to avoid losses before planting trees.
"It is very important for a farmer to know the kind of land to be used, types of seeds to be planted as well as full information regarding opportunities in the market", he explained.
FDT and African Forestry representatives mentioned that there is an increasing market opportunities for Tanzania forest products, including plywood, veneer, slads, pallet and others.