The Forestry Research Institute of Ghana of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-FORIG) has begun research into over 60 lesser-known timber species to reduce dependence on primary timber.

Director, Prof. Daniel Ofori says the move will lead to reduction in deforestation.

A 2014 report found that the sawmill sector was processing 54 out of 94 species. It concluded that most timber species were underutilized because of the constant introduction of new species.

FORIG therefore saw the need to investigate these new trees to promote their usage.

A survey was then conducted in the Ashanti region, which dominates the chainsaw lumber supply in Ghana.

The Institute initially came out with 35 trees, followed by another 27.

Some of the trees: ‘Kumanini’ (Lannea welwitschii), ‘Bonsamdua’ (Distemonnantus benthamianus), ‘Wawabima’ (Sterculia rhinopetala) ‘Katawani’(Pseudospondia macrocarpa), ‘Otie’(Pycnanthus angolensis), ‘Opam’(Macaranga spp.), among others are being researched to determine their qualities.

 “These species have similar properties to the traditional ones. So, in the absence of, for instance, ‘Odum’, you can use these species.

“We’re researching what they can be used for. This is part of efforts to reduce pressure on traditional timber species and reduce deforestation,” Prof. Ofori is optimistic.

This came up during a visit by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie at the Institute.

Dr. Afriyie toured the Institute’s laboratories, seed centre, nursery, and innovations.

He charged the scientists to do more to ensure a vibrant forestry sector.
 

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