University manufactures wood products from oil palm tree
The Faculty of Technology Education of the Kumasi campus of the University of Education Winneba has manufactured furniture and other wood products from oil palm tree.
This is as a result of research work carried out by the faculty to explore the possibility of utilizing oil palm tree to manufacture industrial wood products.
Among the products are centre table, coffee table, bed, bedside cabinet, flowerpot and lectern.
The research work, which was conducted by Professor Reynolds Okai, Dean of the Faculty and some Level 300 students, was to identify how best the country could utilize some of the lesser-known timber species for wood products.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Professor Okai said lack of scientific research information on the mechanical properties of most trees had led to the continuous extraction of the traditional timber species that are fast depleting.
He said oil palm tree had proved to be useful and durable in the manufacture of wood products and that the faculty was collaborating with BMK Particle Board Limited in Takoradi and other industrial concerns to see if they could manufacture particle boards and other products from oil palm lumber.
Professor Okai said the faculty also intended to research into seasoning oil palm tree.
He called for the establishment of a centre of advanced wood processing to promote research into trees that could be used to manufacture wood products.
Professor Jophus Anamoah Mensah, the Vice Chancellor of the University, said the use of palm tree to manufacture wood products would not only provide skills to the youth but would also boost the President's Special Initiative on oil palm.
He appealed to the GETfund to support the university to re-equip the Faculty of Technology Education to enable it carry out research activities that would benefit the country.
Mr Fosuaba Banahene Mensah, Administrator of the GETfund, said the country's universities had not done much in the area of research due to lack of funds.
He pledged to convince the board of the fund to provide financial assistance to the faculty to re-equip its workshop.
Mr Banahene Mensah announced that work on the construction of a modern auditorium for the university would commence by 2007.