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Business News of Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Source: Public Relations Unit - MLNR

Government secures US$7million loan facility for investment in commercial forest plantation

Deputy Minister of Lands Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio Deputy Minister of Lands Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio

Government of Ghana has obtained US$7 million loan facility from the International Development Association (IDA) to support private sector investment in the forestry and wildlife development with the ultimate objective of protecting the natural forest.

This disclosure was made by the Deputy Minister of Lands Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio during the launch of the Forest Industry Association of Ghana (FIAG).

Benito Owusu-Bio noted that the facility which will soon be made available to the investors forms part of government’s initiative of promoting private sector involvement in the preservation of Ghana’s forest reserves.

He urged members of FIAG to apply for the facility when it is made available to the investing public.

“As part of efforts to stimulate private sector investment in small scale commercial forest plantations, the Ministry through the Forest Investment Porgramme (FIP) has secured a $7million loan facility at a concessionary rate to be disbursed very soon. I hope your members will apply for this facility when it is advertised to build your raw material bases,” he said.

Benito Owusu-Bio also reiterated the resolve of government to safeguard the forest and wildlife resources of the country for future generations.

“As a government we are committed to working closely with the private sector and other partners through a collective effort to leave for our future generation a better wildlife endowment than we inherited,” he said.

He enumerated a number of projects executed by the government to protect the environment and also create an economic value chain in the protection of the environment.

“In order to secure the forest estate from further degradation and promote trade in the woods industry, government is undertaking a number of interventions across various ecological zones.

“They include the Voluntary Partnership Agreement and the issuance of Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade License( FLEGT), promotion of Public-Private Partnership in forest development, Youth in Afforestation, among others”, he said.

Richard Duah Nsenkyire, the chairman of the FIAG highlighted the contribution of his outfit to the Ghanaian economy and made a case for government investment and partnership in the sector.

“The private sector of forestry contributes to job creation, revenue generation and social infrastructure. Currently, the sector provides direct employment to about 400,000 Ghanaians. It generates more than over 200million euros (in terms of export).

In this regard,