Socio-economic assessment of secondary wood processing in Nigerian sawmills
An over view of the current status of secondary wood processing industry in Nigerian sawmill is presented. A purposive random sampling technique was employed based on the information given by the various state forestry services because there is a limited number of secondary wood processing factories. Structured questionnaires were used to elicit information from targeted firms while follow-up field surveys helped to gather information about the state of specific production facilities. The industry`s area of concern: market, wood supply, products, machinery and process are briefly examined. About 10% of the mills surveyed had their conversion efficiency (CE) above average (>60%). Twenty percent of the mills have CEs between 50-59%, while forty percent are between 45-49% and thirty percent below 45%. Over 75% of the mills have down time due to shortage in wood supply as result extraction problem during the raining season. The average capacity utilization in Lagos, Ogun and Ondo state is 77.8% while the other states has an average capacity utilization of 56%. Three tropical hardwoods namely Teak (Tectona grandis), Apa, (Afzelia africana), and Iroko (Milicia excelsa) which are on high demand in the international market are mostly processed for export. Increasing demand for certified products and the need to ensure long-term sustainability of the forest resources place new pressure on product output. Poor log supply information system, non-existent wood resource data bank, poor processing infrastructure as well as poor technical training for labour were identified as some of the factors limiting the desired degree of integration and efficiency. It is recommended that management strategies and policy must be improved for the expected technological and investment changes to occur in the industry.
Keywords: secondary wood processing, status, conversion and sustainability.