The Timber Producers Association of Zambia (TPAZ) has called on government to consider rendering both technical and financial support to the Timber industry.
Association president Charles Musange said the impact of covid-19 is so great on the timber industry that there is need for a specific stimulus package for the people in the wood industry.
There is poverty in our industry, most of our members have got mortgages, some are using borrowed machinery and have a work force to pay.” He said,Musange said.
He Further, urged the Bank of Zambia to revisit the commercial Banks that have accessed the stimulus packages and ensure that the money is being given to Zambians and not foreigners.
Mr. Musange also disclosed that it has been difficult for members of the wood sector to have access to the money due to stringent conditions of commercial banks.
Bank of Zambia should go back to the drawing board and make follow up with the commercial Banks they have given money to give to Zambians, otherwise they may end up giving a Chinese or a Lebanese who are already empowered from their countries,Musange said.
He added that the failure of government to establish the Auction Floor has contributed to hardships faced by the industry.
Even Namibia is coming to compete with us in the markets to re-export our own timber because the Auction Floor has not been established,Musange said.