Assessment of timber species availability in selected sawmills and timber markets in Kogi State, Nigeria
This paper assessed the availability of timber species in Okun Area, Kogi West Senatorial District of Kogi State, Nigeria. One hundred copies of structured questionnaire were randomly administered to timber sellers from six selected timber markets and sawmills from two randomly selected Local Government Areas (LGAs) the State .Four timber markets were selected from Ijumu LGA and two from Kabba-Bunu LGA, making a total of six timber markets. Descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentage distributions as well as content analysis were used to analyse the collected data. Study revealed that 21% of the timber dealers were more than 50 years of age, with about 69% of them having been in business for 20 years and above. Different reasons were given by respondents on why they engage in the timber business and these include availability, durability and demand, with 40% of them citing the demand for the timber species as the reason why they traded the species. The study shows that certain timber species such as Terminalia spp, Milicia excelsa, and Nauclea dideriichii have become endangered species due to over exploitation. Therefore, there is need for the planting of fast growing plantation species by State Forestry Department in Kogi State to replace commercially popular and endangered species as alternatives to decreasing availability of popular timber species so as to avoid running out of valuable and good quality timber species in the near future.
Keywords: Timber, Okun, durability, availability, demand, workability