DPI, GUYANA, Monday, January 29, 2018
The forestry sector has managed to surpass its revised 2017 production target despite the challenges it faced and has set an “ambitious” target for 2018.
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, at a press conference last week noted log production is likely to be around 360,000 cubic meters after the final tally is completed.
Currently, log production stands at 345,000 cubic meters already surpassing the revised 320,000 cubic meters that were set for 2017. Minister Trotman said this performance was “very good” for the industry and could see the growth rate for 2017 revised upwards.
“I dare say it should bring a smile on our Minister of Finance’s face and hopefully we’ll see a revised growth rate for 2017,” Minister Trotman remarked.
The forestry sector has been challenged over the last two years to generate revenues locally and domestically due to a decline in demand for forest produce. This turn around in production is expected to generate more than US$40M from the sector.
Meanwhile, the government has introduced new measures in the 2018 budget aimed at improving production in the forestry sector. The establishment of a consolidated stockyard this year along with an increase in the tariff for the import of Pinewood is expected to aid higher yields in 2018.
Minister Trotman is optimistic that these measures, coupled with the redistribution of Barama’s 1.67M hectare concession, could see the sector meeting a higher target which could earn the country a surplus of $25.6M in 2018. “We are setting ourselves an ambitious target of 400,000 cubic meters for log production with of course more emphasis on value-added.”
Additionally, in 2018, the sector will be guided by the revised National Log Export Policy and New Revised Forest Policy and Plan, which was completed and approved by the board of the GFC. Minister Trotman noted he will be taking the two documents to Cabinet for notice and approval soon.
There are also plans to continue strengthening the institutions for REDD+ readiness and in this regard, nationwide consultations for the participation of stakeholders will be held.
By: Tiffny Rhodius