–Government hands over tools and
equipment worth over KR500,000 to the forestry department in the central province
towards the successful implementation of the national tree planting program.
The consignment was handed over to the department by central province permanent
secretary Annie Sinyangwe at a ceremony held in Kabwe today.
Among the tools and equipment handed over were a tractor, a trailer, disc plough,
and poly pipes for the water reticulation system.
Others included a fencing wire, two water tanks and supporting stands.
Officiating at the hand over and commissioning ceremony, the permanent secretary said rich forest
resources if used wisely could generate valuable economic, social and cultural benefits.
Mrs Sinyangwe said that with the increased demand for forest products
and issues of climate change, government has introduced tree planting as an
intervention for mitigating change in weather patterns and as well as a
strategy to enhance food security.
She said tree planting has many benefits such as the provision of
timber poles, fruits, leaf biomass for fodder and soil improvement,
adding that the establishment would also give rise to more jobs both
casual and permanent categories.
Mrs Sinyangwe said the national tree planting program has led to the
establishment of a large scale nursery at Mpima Forestry
station in Kabwe.
The nursery will supply assorted seedlings for plantation
establishment and enrichment planting in degraded forest areas of
She was however said that despite the benefits derived from forests, they
had continued to reduce in number countrywide with the deforestation rate standing
between 250,000 to 300,000 hectares per annum.
Principal Extension Officer Geoffrey Musonda said the province has
pot filled 1,420, 000 pots, raised a total of 274,000 assorted
seedlings and employed over 452 casual workers.
Mr Musonda said at full nursery capacity the province will establish
1,000 hectares during the 2013/2014 tree planting season in the
degraded forest areas.
He appealed to the government to consider providing the department
with more permanent workers and casuals to further enhance the tree
production in the province.