The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Prof Adolf Mkenda made the revelation yesterday when briefing journalists on the planned activities of the special task force formed to improve the forest sector.
The task force which is part of the various task forces formed under the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) held its meeting in Morogoro region. TNBC has members from public and private sector.
Prof Mkenda who is the co-chair of the task force from public sector said the group will work to protect as well as improve performance of the sector.
He said they have agreed to consult different stakeholders to take part in construction of the furniture making industries using wood and forest wastes.
“Tanzanians should grab the opportunity to produce office furniture since the government banned importation of furnishings for public offices. By constructing the industries investors will not only make profits, but support the government’s industrialization endavour”, said Prof Mkenda
He said that under the agreement, manufactured office furniture will be sold to government institutions and agencies.
The PS asserted that they have also agreed to use the forests countrywide to establish bee keeping projects. He said the task force will encourage municipal councils across the country to plant trees and protect available forests.
If protected, forests can be used by the villagers to generate income through a number of environmental friendly activities including beekeeping, he said.
Head of the Private Forestry Programme, Ben Mfungo Sulus said improvement of the forest sector faces challenges such as lack of skills to youth. He said most of them do not have enough knowledge to use modern carpentry machines.
Sulus urged forest researchers to work on the best tree varieties that can mature within a short period. He said most of the tree varieties take too long to mature, the thing that discourages farmers.
TNBC acting Chief Executive Officer, Oliva Vegulla said there are many investment opportunities in the forest sector. He said they are working closing with experts from various countries who advices the country on how to utilize the opportunities economically.