Tanzania's commercial forestry industry has the potential to significantly raise the incomes of small tree growers.

Posted on :Monday , 24th May 2021

In Tanzania's Southern Highlands, the Forestry Development Trust (FDT) is collaborating with all segments of tree growers as well as various public and private forestry service providers to transform the commercial forestry sector by encouraging business structure reforms.


Tanzania's current forest plantation area (including small scale woodlots) is estimated to be 325,000 hectares, with pine (65% ) and eucalyptus as the dominant species (20 percent ). Teak and Black Wattle make up the majority of the balance. Previous research undervalued the contribution of small and medium-scale tree farmers, but a recent FDT remote sensing report highlighted their development as a segment and significance as a source of supply in terms of hectares planted.


The construction, furniture, and paper industries are the primary drivers of wood product production. Other industries that use wood include electricity transmission, which uses eucalyptus poles (the main industry for STGs), and transportation, which uses wood in the form of pallets and boxes. Wood commodity demand is expected to more than double in round wood equivalent (rwe) between 2013 (national consumption of 2.3 million m3 rwe) and 2035 (5.2 million m3 rwe), led mainly by the building sector and paper consumption.


Tanzania's commercial forestry industry has the ability to significantly raise the incomes of small tree growers while also driving industrialization and jobs in primary and secondary value chains.


Production of wood fibre for pulp, particleboard, and fibreboard may be a viable business choice for STGs if major industrial players invest in manufacturing industries, coordinate raw material supply from STGs through out-grower schemes, and significantly help STGs in improving growth efficiency and product quality.


Tanzania's commercial forestry industry is in transformation, with the supply base shifting away from vast private and government plantations and toward small and medium-scale tree growers. With small and medium-sized tree growers expected to remain core players in the market, there is an urgent need to maintain an emphasis on driving higher production and efficiency in their woodlots.


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