The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

Hansel and Gretel? Tanzania Forests yield two million metric tons of timber exports

There is more to Tanzania’s forests than Hansel and Gretel. In fact there are billions to be earned.

As it happens, Tanzania now exports over 1.9 million metric tons of wood products overseas, harvested from the country’s forests and processed at local mills.

It is a billion dollar business even though we couldn’t get the total monetary figures yet.

The Conservation Commissioner of Tanzania Forest Services (TFS) Agency, Professor Dos Santos Silayo, revealed that the consignment of processed timber was shipped out of the country during the 2022/2023 fiscal year period.

According to the agency, the exports volume has thus gone up by 17 percent from the previous 426,805 metric tons in the preceding fiscal year and an even earlier one of 356,593 metric tons recorded in the 2021/22 period.

“Tanzania ships abroad processed forestry products like the Engineered Wood Products, such as plywood, marine boards and laminated boards,” revealed the TFS Commissioner of Conservation.

Local timber mills have been adding value to harvested logs through the processing of diverse products, steering away from the previous businesses of exporting the relevant raw materials.

“Other than the small-scale sawmills, we have factories dealing with production of engineered wood products like marine boards and veneer, and the others that engage into production of briquettes,” he revealed.

According to Professor Dos Santos there are other plants that deal with the manufacturing of papers and pillars.

The country has a total of 4,300 factories that deal with manufacturing wood based products.

It is reported that the forestry agency serves nearly 12,000 clients.

 TFS has meanwhile managed to establish a large tree estate measuring 65,000 hectares, at the Makere area of Kasulu in Kigoma.

The agency has also expanded two farms, including the one at Mtibwa covering 12,000 hectares as well as the ones at Pagale range and Longuza both measuring 400 hectares’ extent.

Tanzania Forestry Agency has managed to produce nearly 26 tons of tree seedlings and planted a total of 32,735,653 trees of different species in a total of 24 public tree farms available across the country.

Forests cover some 48 million hectares of the country’s landscape which is more than 54 percent of the entire land.

The government reserved forest area covers 465 hectares, including 24 tree plantations, 23 natural environmental conservation areas, and 20 beekeeping reserves.

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