Protecting Ecosystems and Restoring Forests in Malawi (Perform) has urged government to promote value-adding in management of Viphya Plantation and other forests to ease pressure on the environment.
Perform chief of party Ramzy Kanaan said this when he and Usaid officials inspected efforts being done by Consolidated Processing Industry (CPI) to protect the environment.
CPI is implementing a Perform project funded by Usaid at the tune of about K74 million.
Through the project, CPI is to replant 500 hectares.
In an interview after inspecting the areas to be planted, seedlings production and various wood products being made at CPI factory in Viphya Plantation, Kanaan said value-adding puts less pressure on the environment, but people benefit more from the value-added products.
He said apart from replanting and taking care of trees, value-adding is key to restoring the plantation.
He commended CPI for embarking on value-adding, saying it will help in protecting the plantation.
“For Malawi or any country to get more out of their resources there is need for value-addition. If a tree is cut it will fetch more if you make furniture, block boards or other items other than just selling it just as wood,” said Kanaan.
He also expressed satisfaction with the progress CPI is making in the production of seedlings that are to be planted on the 500 hectares.
He said covering the 500 hectares will help in restoring the plantation, but there is need for enforcement to protect the plantation from bush fires, encroachment and other malpractices.
“What they are doing here is massive. I am impressed. These seedlings will cover 500 hectares which is a big area,” he said.
CPI managing director Taonga Mtegha said the private sector has to play a role in helping government restore the plantation. He said the company believes in working hand-in-hand with government to ensure that the environment is protected adding the two are already enjoying a good relationship.