RUNDU - President Geingob says already cut raw timber must be exported, this is despite the government ban of raw timber involving mainly farmers from the two Kavango regions not to sell harvested logs for export but only to local factories leaving many farmers with rotting logs of timber.
Farmers who have harvested timber with genuine permits from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry have been unhappy with the conditions attached to permits to deal in timber when the moratorium was lifted recently.
One of the conditions is that no unprocessed timber will be exported from Namibia.
Geingob assured farmers at a Swapo rally in Rundu on Saturday that for now, government will allow this timber to be exported where the buyers are and in future those who will be permitted to cut timber must follow the procedures of the ministry of environment and those of the forestry.
“Timber that has been cut already must be sold anywhere. They are saying don’t sell until you get a factory. That timber laying on the ground rotting must be sold anywhere and in the future, we are going to have proper ways of doing it, we will have a factory to produce furniture here,” he said.
“But don’t go and cut the new ones now, that the President said we must sell it, I’m saying the ones that are rotting, already cut and nowhere to be sold, those are the only ones,” he warned.
Since the beginning of April 2019, there has been a moratorium on both harvesting and transportation of timber in the country. The moratorium angered many farmers who had already cut or harvested timber to sell to mainly Chinese buyers but could no longer do so due to the ban and after the ban was lifted, the conditions set to it prohibits the timber being exported before it can be processed from raw material, it can only be sold to local factories for processing which are not available to the farmers who have tones of timber rotting in their farms.
The star rally brought Swapo members and supporters of the two Kavango regions.
2019-11-04 07:25:11 | 7 days ago