Govt calls Tanzanians to invest in commercial forestry farming

02Mar 2021
Gerald Kitabu
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Govt calls Tanzanians to invest in commercial forestry farming

THE government has opened doors for the private sector and individuals who want to invest in commercial forestry to do so, saying it will provide them full support.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Dr. Aloyce Nzuki (C) inspecting some commercial forestry pavilions before opening the conference on commercial forestry in Dar es Salaam over the weekend. To his left is the Director for the Forestry Development Trust (FDT), David Shambwe and other government officials. Photo: Correspondent Gerald Kitabu

Speaking at a conference that discussed opportunities and challenges for investment in commercial forestry in Tanzania in Dar e Salaam over the weekend, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Aloyce Nzuki said the ministry is happy to work with the private sector and will support prospective commercial forestry investors, advise them on land acquisition, improved tree species and markets.

He said the government has every reason to support commercial forestry particularly those who are planting trees for commercials because they are going to supply trees and conserve natural forests from deforestation.

“This is another opportunity for public-private partnership. This will create employment and increase individual income. We know the investors facing different challenges ranging from availability of improved tree seedlings to markets. The Ministry is going to address them so that they can conduct fruitful commercial forestry,” he said.

“I direct all institutions under my Ministry led by the Tanzania Forest Agency (TFS) to make sure that these investors in commercial forestry are supported right from accessing land, improved tree seedlings, management, production and markets,” he stressed.

 He called on prospective commercial forestry investors to channel the challenges they face at his office so that they can get solutions. At the end of the day we want to implement the directives which are in CCM party Manifesto and the President’s directives of moving into value chain he issued when inaugurating the 12th parliament, he said.

When inaugurating the 12th Parliament in November last year, President Magufuli announced that it was imperative for the country to start processing goods into value chain instead of exporting unprocessed goods. He called for local and foreign investors to choose Tanzania as a centre of their destination.

President John Magufuli pledged to create conducive environment for the investment for both local and foreign investors.

According to Dr Nzuki currently, the forestry sector contributes only 3.5 percent of the national economy saying it is little, therefore, plans and strategies should aim to make it contribute more than it currently offers.

Director of Forestry and Beekeeping, Ezekiel Mwakalukwa said the conference on commercial forestry is implementing the national forestry policy of 1998 and the forest Act no 14 of 2002.  The national forestry policy of 1998 provides guidelines of participation of the private sector and individuals in the investments in the forestry sector. Citing an example, he said policy statements no 7, 9, 38 and 39 gives guidelines for people to establish and develop tree plantations in the country. In this regard, the Ministry in collaboration with development partners particularly the Finish government established tree planting programme to support people plant trees especially in the Southern Highland regions.

“We thank very much the regional authorities in their respective areas to accord the team managing this programme close collaboration,” he said.

He called the commercial forestry investors to form a forum that will bring them together and have annual forum to discuss and share with the government the opportunities and challenges.

Prof Dos Santos, the Conservation Commissioner, Tanzania Forest Service Agency (TFS) said the private sector are important stakeholders for supplementing government’s efforts to conserve and manage the forests.

“That’s why the government has provided these opportunities so that the private sector, individuals can conduct commercial forestry to increase their income and contribute to the government’s economy.

“One of the important factors in commercial forestry is land. Therefore these investors must be advised where to invest, what should be invested and what improved tree species should be planted as well as the value chain so that at the end of the day, their product can get good markets,” he said.

One of the participants, Fadhil Mwakames, the managing Director of Forestry Business Innovative Company said his company has adhered to the government directives and guidelines. The company is supporting commercial forestry investors in Land acquisition, Land preparation, Seedling production (nursery), Plantation establishment and management. Citing an example, he said planting and growing Avocado trees and commercial tree like pine, Eucalyptus and many others.

Explaining the objective of the conference, Director for the Forestry Development Trust (FDT), David Shambwe said the conference is organized by FDT, the African Forestry and the government and aimed at bringing together the government and commercial forestry investors who are interested and those already invested in commercial forestry in Tanzania to discuss opportunities and the challenges they are facing and how to address and improve the situation and the markets.

“We want also to discuss with the government officials different guidelines, to have common understanding, to discuss how we can move into value chain in the forestry sector. The sector offers a number of employments right from tree nurseries, processing to more on

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