Ms Esther Obeng-Dapaah, Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines yesterday observed that inefficient processing technologies, methods and equipment by wood users in Ghana accounted for the depletion of Ghana's prime timber species, other forest resources and wood wastage.
She said it is time to make those whose livelihoods depended on wood to appreciate its value in terms of the commercial business it generated as well as its importance in sustaining biodiversity and ecosystem.
Ms Obeng-Dapaah made the observation in a key-note address read on her behalf at the closing ceremony of a five-day capacity building workshop for master carpenters in H, in the Volta Region.The workshop to be held nationwide is organized by Forestry Services Commission in collaboration with some development partners.
Over 200 master carpenters from the southern sector of the Volta Region attended the workshop which focused on furniture designing, proper methods of finishing, use of potable hand tools and costing.
Ms Obeng-Dapaah said it is the policy of the Ministry to train users of wood to use lesser volumes of wood to generate high value-added products, noting that the Ministry through the Natural Resources and Environmental Governance Programme (NREG) would provide all the necessary support to ensure the training programme is sustained.
Ms Obeng-Dapaah also urged the participants to take advantage of the training programme to become more business oriented and turn out products that will be competitive in both local and internationally markets.
Mr Mawutor Goh, Ho Municipal Chief Executive on his part expressed concern about the activities of chain saw operators in the country and appealed for public co-operation in checking the practice, stressing that excessive exploitation of timber and their inefficient and uneconomic use are serious challenges in the timber sector.
Mr Alex Offei, Director of Wood Industries Centre at Akyawkrom in the Ashanti Region was also optimistic the workshop will help upgrade the professional skills of the master carpenters. Certificates were presented to the participants.