Lesser Known Species
In terms of raw material - the different hardwood species - Ghana has established a conservation classification to ensure that the supply of Ghanaian hardwood species can be maintained. In practice this means that harvesting of the better known and commonly used species (like the redwoods African Mahogany and Sapelewood) is more limited, and much more encouragement is being given to the harvesting of lesser known species. The management plans for Ghanas legally constituted Forest Reserves include control of minimum diameters for felling and the actual number of trees that can be felled in a given area. This, more and more, means fewer traditional commercial species and a greater number of the less known timbers. Trees of smaller diameter are left to grow to commercial size and provide future harvests.
Limits to harvest and greater focus on processing
There is an agreed limit to the total amount of timber which can be taken from the forests in support of exports. This forms part of the overall approach to sustainable forest management.
Because the export industry cannot expand by extracting more trees, the development of the industry depends on making more efficient use of the wood which is harvested. There is far greater interest in minimising waste and utilising offcuts, and in further processing to provide exports in shaped and machined mouldings, flooring, furniture components, dowels and similar added value items. Ghana seeks greater collaboration with overseas manufacturers in order to produce designs and components precisely to the specification of overseas partners.
Ghanas timber companies
Ghanas timber companies range from larger multi product businesses to small scale operations.
As part of the effort to expand exports of added value products by smaller companies, Ghana has created two initiatives. There is the Wood Industries Training Centre being shaped to provide technical and management training, and the "Wood Village" (Kumasi Wood Estates Ltd.) which aims to offer common services to companies which set up their own production units on the large site close to Kumasi.
If you wish to open discussions with Ghanaian Exporters, we suggest you intially contact the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Ghana Forestry Commission at its London Office. Introductions are made through this route and enable a direct and exclusive dialogue to be set up.