TANZANIA Forest Service Agency (TFS) has assured stakeholders that it would continue to train more timber graders and inspectors to cope with the increasing pace of investments and technological changes in the forest sector.
TFS Chief Executive Officer Professor Dos Santos Silayo made the remark recently at a ceremony to award some TFS staff with certificates and licenses, after they completed some short course on timber grading and inspection facilitated by Moshi based Forest Industries Training Institute (FITI).
According TFS currently there are only 30 timber graders and inspectors against the actual country demand of 60 to 90 of them.
Prof Silayo said changes in the economy have necessitated the need of training more experts to cope and increase efficiency in the sector.
“These experts will help to boost the sector especially in areas of technology and products, and thus enable meet the required standards for local and international markets,” Prof Silayo said.
He said, Tanzania has witnessed an increasing number of forest industries processing varieties of products especially in five years of President John Magufuli’s administration.
“We have not only recorded notable achievements in increasing the number of industries in the sector, but also technological changes which have improved efficiency in processing varieties of forest products ,” pointed out the Chief Executive Officer.
He said to date forest industries are processing varieties of products such as papers, marine boards, electric poles and alternative energy among others, besides other common activities such as lumbering.
Prof Silayo added that the training facilitated by the TFS staff will help to ensure standards of forests products for internal and international markets.
He said apart from being trained on timber grading and inspections, the workers have also been trained on how to overcome various challenges, while executing their duties and shun corruption.
Prof Silayo, however, said that TFS in collaboration with Forestry Department has commissioned Sokoine University and Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI) to prepare a document which is currently being scrutinized by Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) in order to come up with standards of forest products.