Story by Bernard Buachi
A mobile application to help capture data in the country’s domestic Timber market will soon revolutionize Ghana’s timber and forestry resources sector.
The application, when in use, will help track timber, capture data on the movement and earnings from timber. The data so captured, will help in policy making and also make adequate and accurate information available for all who may require such data.
At a day’s workshop to train trainers on the use of the application held Tuesday at the F.C.T.C Centre of Excellence at Ejisu, Executive Director of the Kumasi Wood Cluster Association (KWC); Mr. Gustav Adu stated that switching to electronic data capturing and storage will promote efficiency in Ghana’s timber industry. He revealed that the application, which has been field-tested, was collaboration between KWC and the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD).
“This App will help know what products went out, from who, where, and to who?” he stated and explained that many of the vendors misplace their paper waybills and other necessary documents; a situation he says the mobile app will help solve. “An app provides a better way of saving the information and retrieving it. It will also help them monitor their stock in a simple way” he explained. He said it will also help the regulator know the quantity of wood on the domestic market and track it. It makes inspection and monitoring easy for the regulator as well since he would already have information against which to check the physical stock of the vendors. “It will also make registration of vendors easier” he observed.
The training which enabled demonstrations and firsthand experience of the App, also afforded the industry players, drawn from various forest regions the opportunity to discuss some issues affecting the monitoring of timber and timber products in the country.
For his part, the operations Manager of the TIDD (Southern Sector); Eric Abbeyquaye explained that Ghana in 2009 signed on to the Voluntary partnership Agreement which sought to develop the domestic timber market amongst others. He says the VPA demanded that Ghana set up a Legality
Assurance System which also necessitated an electronic tracking system. “This gave birth to the Forestry Commission’s Ghana Wood Tracking System (GWTS). The GWTS is able to track timber from the forest to the market. It is however unable to track it any further. This is the shortfall that the Application seeks to solve. He says the application will make the buying and selling of illegal timber unattractive and hence kill the trade in such timber.
The Participants, mainly TIDD Area Managers countrywide were excited about the App and were confident it will help resolve the issue of illegal timber on the domestic market.
Nana Gyensiamah Ameyaw, TIDD Area Manager for Awaso praised the Kumasi Wood Cluster Association for doing great work in the forestry resources sector of the country.
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