Ghana’s timber industry, which employs over 70,000 people as well as generating export earnings of over US$170 million per annum, is said to be facing possible total collapse, until and unless a newly vibrant and applicable wood industry framework is instituted to address the current internal and external challenges.

Some of the external challenges that have over the years limited the anticipated growth of the industry are said to include the institution of market instrument ‘restriction on tree species’ and state procurement laws limiting direct access to some strategic markets, as well as quality standards or grading rules for various products which affect recovery levels and often give room for unnecessary claims from importers.

The internal challenges, however, include the inability to sell profitably on the local market due to unfair competition from illegal operators, high production cost such as fuel, electricity, spare parts for plants and machinery - making the industry’s products uncompetitive on the local and international market.

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