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300 delegates convene in Accra for World Teak Conference

The 4th Teak Conference 2022 has kick-started in Accra with about 300 delegates from 38 countries across the globe in attendance.

.Opened in Accra, Ghana on Monday, September 5, under the theme: ‘Global Teak Market: Challenges and Opportunities for Emerging Markets and Developing Economies, ‘the conference aims to create a platform for stakeholders to interact develop strategies and share new ideas and technologies within the industry.

The Conference is also meant to forge business partnerships and stay up-to-date on the emerging trends in teak plantations management, processing, and trade.

The Accra meeting is the first time a World Teak Conference has been hosted on the African Continent. Three others were previously held in Asia and Latin America; the first was in Costa Rica (2011); followed by Thailand (2013) and Ecuador (2015).

The conference, currently ongoing is being organized and coordinated by the Forestry Commission of  Ghana in collaboration with the International Teak Information Network (TEAKNET), India; International Union of Forest Research Organisations,(IUFRO); International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), with technical support from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Opening the conference in Accra, Ghana’s Minister for Information, Kwadjo Oppong Nkrumah who spoke on behalf of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana emphasized the need to examine the opportunities in the Teak market.

He expected that at the end of the Conference, he would see a report that would guide global leaders in dealing with matters bothering the Teak industry. He assured delegates that  Ghana would put to use all critical perspectives that would come out of the conference. 

“Already we are told that outside Asia, Ghana is  the leading producer  of  Teak on the  African continent  and  our  expectation  and  attention  is to build  stronger  on this”

He stated that the conference has come at a time when the world is trying to build better after the twin crisis of COVID and the Ukrainian war. He noted that Afforestation is a key part of Ghana’s strategy to build back better.

He believes that Teak is a good business because it creates a lot of jobs for the people, thus,  investing in sub-sectors like forestry is a good thing to do.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, remarked that meetings such us the  Teak Conferences provide a platform for stakeholders to foster partnership and cooperation for the sustainable development of  Teak which is one of the most important tree species in the world.

He told delegates that Ghana has been implementing impressive Afforestation and reforestation initiatives through the youth in the Afforestation programme.

 He spoke about the Green Ghana Project which has seen the Plantation of several millions of tree seedlings including Teak across  Ghana.

He hoped that at end of the conference on Wednesday, September 8 delegates would come out with conclusions and recommendations that would inure to benefit all.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey, welcomed delegates to the conference and urged them to have discussions that would boost the  Teak industry.

Mr Allotey informed the conference that Ghana that is one of the major teak-growing countries in Africa and that approximately 70 percent of forest plantations in Ghana is composed of Teak.

According to him of all countries outside Asia, Ghana has the largest area of planted teak.

He indicate that the conference would among other things address most of the crucial issues of the global teak sector, including sustainable management of smallholder teak farming systems for quality supply of teak timber to markets; review and improvement of existing silvicultural systems and practices for better stand management on teakwood quality; analysis of market structures and value chains of teakwood trading and their impact on the profitability of teak investments; evaluation of private and public investments in the teak sector and its impacts on socio-economic conditions and rural livelihoods.

By: Mohammed Suleman/ Publicagendagh.com

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