Zambia will be transformed into a major timber exporter

Every one of Zambia’s ten provinces will receive 50,000 hectares of land through the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) to establish plantations in order to transform Zambia into a major exporter of timber.

Minister of National Development Planning, Lucky Mulusa, stated that the forestry industry has the potential to contribute to employment and creation of wealth – if well harnessed, and that the establishment of forest plantations around the nation was in line with the Government’s economic development programme that targets lowering the overdependence the country has on mining.

“Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries (ZAFFICO) currently employs a good number of people under the tree planting exercise, financed by the government,” Mulusa stated in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) he released along with his intention to run from 2017 to 2021. “According to estimates made by ZAFFICO management, land clearing, preparations and planting of 40,000 hectares of land would provide direct employment opportunities to 40,000 seasonal employees.”

According to the Lusaka Times, Mulusa also said that the forestry industry would be able to make notable contributions to the national economy when the plantations have been completed and are fully operational.

“This will contribute to eliminating social exclusion faced by majority of the people who are skilled and have had no employment opportunities for decades,” he added. “It will also increase forest production and productivity through research and development.”

The Zambian Government will also promote investments in the industry through public-private partnerships.


Source: The Lusaka Times