Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Nancy Tembo has expressed satisfaction with the operations of Consolidated Processing Industries (CPI), a firm that adds value to timber for exports.
The firm, which is operating in the Viphya Plantation in Nkhata Bay, started operations in 2016 to produce value-added wood products for the export market.
Speaking after a tour of the firm on Monday, Tembo said the firm provides wood products currently being exported to China.
She said: “Malawians that are into what Consolidated Processing Industries is doing should be supported by government. We should not export logs, but make sure to add value.”
On his part, CPI chairperson Enock Zimba said the firm is exporting value-added wood products to maximise revenue generation.
He said the firm is currently setting up a plywood manufacturing plant.
Said Zimba: “We wanted a high-end product that does not require a lot of wood.
“Plywood does not take a lot of wood and with whatever little timber, we can survive in business.”
He said following their assessment of the industry, they engaged government and identified 400 hectares of eucalyptus trees in Mazamba area in the plantation. Government allocated them 150 hectares.
The firm, which was founded by three Malawians, forecasts shortage of the wood in the next three to four years.