By Josephine Mugiyo
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe needs to scale up the management and governance framework around forestry areas.
The President, who officiated at the commissioning of the Allied Timbers’ Zimbabwe Cashel Valley sawmill, emphasised the need to effectively control deforestation.
With timber processing being a key sector in the country’s economy, ensuring the plantations that produce the product are well protected is crucial for the country to derive maximum benefits.
In his message the President focused on the need to control deforestation in Manicaland province and the country.
“Through the whole of government and society approach, I further exhort the political leadership here in Manicaland province, along with the government ministries, departments and agencies to decisively reverse deforestation in the province as well as other undesirable activities within our forestry plantations. Comprehensive strategies must be out in place for broad based afforestation programs here in Manicaland province and other parts of the country,” he said.
For the timber sector to thrive re-planting on time from harvested areas is key, said the President, who also planted a tree at the Cashel Valley Estate.
“Allied Timbers and the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry are directed to also entrench an organizational culture that will see the timely re-planting if harvested areas as well as the safeguarding of this state-of-the-art sawmill and other assets of the company. Working with other stakeholders, more aggressive strategies must be put in place to ensure sustainable commercial plantations and forestry resources for the optimum utilisation of the sawmill operations.”
The President also spoke on the role of traditional leaders in conservation.
“Chiefs, you know when we go to other countries, we tell them about how beautiful Chimanimani is and you want to burn these forests. You want to destroy all this beauty.”
Allied Timbers a government entity has emerged as a shining example of a company that is maximising on production and the state-of-the-art saw mill has given it leverage to improve quality for the export markets.