Angolan government plans to re-launch logging industry

27 August 2013

The Angolan Agriculture Ministry, in partnership with the Industry Ministry, has drawn up a plan to re-launch the wood logging industry in order to reduce the current production deficit, Minister Afonso Pedro Canga said last week in Cabinda.

At the opening ceremony of the First National Meeting on Forest Inventory, the Agriculture and Rural Development Minister said that the production deficit was estimated at 400,00 cubic metres, and that the aim of the plan was to give new life to the logging and wood processing sector, by creating opportunities and incentives for forestry businesses.

The minister also said that the provinces of Kwanza Norte, Cabinda, Uíge and Bengo were the main suppliers of hardwood, whilst the provinces of Huambo and Benguela provide softwood.

Noting that the deforestation rate in Angola now stands at 0.2 percent, “a figure that is not worrying but requires our attention,” Canga said it was fundamental for Angola to have a scientifically precise understanding of its forestry resources, where they are located and in what amounts, in order to manage them in a sustainable way.

Angola has an estimated natural forest area of 53 million hectares, which is around half (43 percent) of the country’s total territory and an annual logging capacity of 326,000 cubic metres of wood, and thousands of tons of charcoal and firewood.

“Angola also has a planted forest area calculated to total 148,000 hectares, with an annual exploration potential of 800,000 cubic metres of wood,” the minister said.

Angola’s first forest inventory will be assisted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). (macauhub)