The Forestry Commission (FC) is to recruit graduates, Diplomat-holders and Senior High School (SHS) leavers to be trained as Technical officers, to augment the current ageing and inadequate officers across the country to meet demand in the timber and afforestation industry for productivity.
“The inability of the Commission to sustain its training programmes for Technical Officers (TOs) over the years, due to constraints, has indeed created a deficit of technical requirements in the field,” Mrs. Edith Abroquah, Director of Operations of Forest Services Division (FSD) of the Forestry Commission said in Accra.
According Mrs. Abroquah, the duties of these technical officers are indispensable and cannot compromised by any circumstances. For instance, among the functions of the technical officers are: to give professional guidancee to persons who want to establish plantations; determine soil fertility, types of species; where to get them from, and spacing of the seedlings during planting.
The Technical Officers also guides plantation owners to create fire-belts around their plantations against bushfire hazards etc. They are also to assess maturity of trees before they are felled by contractors, and ensure standardisation in the industry.
On forest plantation protection, management and development, the Operations Director explained that her outfit is leaving no stone unturned in its quest to protect the country’s remaining fragile forest cover against exploitation by the public – despite the country’s population growth and its inherent wood needs.
“We are in control of preventing the felling of immature trees by recalcitrant timber contractors through instituting punitive measures to stem the tide of such practices.” FSD, she said, engages timber contractors from time to time in seminars and workshops to sensitise them on best practices in the timber industry and sustainable afforestation programmes.
On afforestation, the FSD is engaged in massive nationwide programmes covering all the regions to plant trees – both in forest reserves and off-reserves. This is part of its mandate is to ensure that depleted and degraded areas are reclaimed successfully. She said the challenges facing the FSD are enormous and require the general public to cooperate with the Forestry Commission to enable it protect our forest for national development.