The Lands Minister has bemoaned the lack of deployment of technology in the country’s external timber market.
Samuel Abdulai Jinapor said Ghana has the capacity to do more in the international timber trade but the lack of technology is hampering its performance.
He was speaking at the launch of the Digitalised Property Mark Registration Process and the Ghana Electronic Wood Tracking System at Achiawkrom near Kumasi.
“We are aware that one of the challenges that have affected our country on the international timber market is the lack of technology.
“The technological infrastructure for accessing the international market and attracting the requisite investment demand a level of sophistication that yesterday’s systems and norms can no longer respond to.
“We must, therefore, innovate constantly and keep pace with the technological advancements necessary to access the international market.”
Over two million Ghanaians, mainly those in rural areas work in the Forestry sector.
As of October 2021, Ghana exported 248,657.09 cubic meters of timber worth €113 million, with domestic trade accounting for 392,117. 7 cubic meters.
Ghana, between 2019 and 2020, exported a total of 526, 613.29 cubic meters , worth over €266 million.
The domestic market accounted for 678,406.9 cubic meters within the same period, says Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.
According to Samuel Abu Jinapor, though available data shows a remarkable improvement, Ghana has capacity to do better.
“Whereas the data shows a remarkable improvement in the sector over the years, we have the capacity and ability to do more.”
He revealed a study, under the auspices of President Akufo-Addo, has been commissioned to understand how to position Ghana well on the international timber market.
“Consequently, acting on the instructions of the President Akufo-Addo, I commissioned a study aim at revamping the timber industry to position the country to take its rightful place on the international timber market.”
Mr Abdulai Jinapor reiterated the resolve of the Lands Ministry to be left out of the country’s digitisation agenda, hence the implementation of aggressive digitisation programmes.
According to him, some agencies under the Ministry, including the Lands and Minerals Commission and the Forestry Commission, are introducing digitalized platforms.
He described the Digitalised Property Mark Registration and the Ghana Electronic Wood Tracking System by the Forestry Commission as unprecedented.
This is expected to contribute immensely to service delivery in the management of forests and wildlife.
“ The Forestry Commission is making it possible too, again from the comfort of your homes and offices apply for the registration or renewal of property marks required for the cutting or felling of trees and without a doubt, will contribute immensely to improving service delivery in the management of our forest and wildlife heritage,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive of Forestry Commission, John Allotey says the new platforms, developed by staff of the Commission will save time and improve service delivery.