Log-Flitching Impacts On The Forestry Economy Of Cross River State, Nigeria
The study investigated log flitching impacts on the forestry economy of Cross River State, Nigeria. The data for the study was obtained from stump site wood converters who operate with chain saws on pay as you cut basis and this was supplemented by information from selected plank markets and forestry charges in the state. Five randomly selected tree species including Terminalia ivorensis, Ptrerocarpus osun, Melicia excelsa, Goswelodendron spp. and Nauclea diderichii were investigated. Seven plank dimensions, which were identified through survey as the most commonly cut by stump site converters and also at sawmills were selected, while six plank markets out of the eight approved by the State Government were randomly selected and visited for information on prices. A time series data on the various dimensions and their prices was collected over a period of ten years (1992-2001) and this was analyzed using student's t-test. The results show that at a degree of freedom = 1198 and P < 0.05, dimensions 41 x 61 x 121, 21 x 61 x 121, 21 x 41 x 121, 21 x 31 x 121, 31 x 41 x 121, 21 x 21 x 121 and 11 x 121 x 121 had critical 't' value of 1.96 each and calculated 't' value of 17.09, 17.09, 16.82, 12.51, 12.51, 9.25 and 12.22 respectively. These values show that there were significant differences or variations in the prices of flitch wood and sawn wood in the study area. Wood conversion efficiency of 43% by flitching method shows that flitching results in high degree of wastage. This situation is attributable to different factors such as type of equipment used, degree of mechanization of operations; size of logs and saw kerfs width. Recommendations on the improvement of wood conversion were also made.
Keywords: Sawnwood, Log flitching, recovery efficiency, Forestry economy