The Ministry of Natural Resources will examine the possibility of establishing a community sawmill for the logging communities of Kwakwani and Ituni as a means of promoting value-added production, GINA said.
GINA reported that during a recent two-day outreach to the logging communities, the request for assistance in this area was raised with Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman.
In Kwakwani, some residents called for a review of taxes on timber products since they claimed it was “an extra burden to the forestry sector.” It was pointed out by other residents that the promotion of value-added production, such as sawmilling, was one way to reduce taxes.
“I think, and I believe and most persons will agree with me, that we need to start doing some more value-added to our forestry products,” Joslyn Morian told Minister Trotman during a public meeting at the Kwakwani Primary School.
According to GINA, Minister Trotman promised to consider the suggestion. “The idea of maybe a community sawmill is not a bad one. It is something government will explore as an incentive because we are taxing you at 14 percent, we should be giving back something to compensate for that,” Minister Trotman said.
A similar request was made by members of the Ituni Logging Association for infrastructure or equipment to promote value-added production.
The Ministry of Natural Resources has been reviewing policies in the forestry sector with the aim of promoting value-added production of lumber.