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Ghana - 26 October, 2015
Seventeen former chainsaw millers who now constitute the Insu Siding Artisanal Millers Association have undergone a 12 day Practical Training Workshop aimed at equipping them with modern technical skills in artisanal milling to foster their transition from using illegal chainsaws to modern milling equipment.
The training which took place at Insu Siding in the Tarkwa Forest District of the Western Region of Ghana from October 5th to 17th, 2015 was organised by the Chainsaw Milling (CSM) Project with resource persons from the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) and Royal RABMILL.
Topics covered included; Introduction to milling, Operating sawmilling equipment, Sawmill hygiene, health and safety measures, Equipment maintenance, Log milling techniques and Wood storage and treatment.
To support the training workshop, the Tarkwa Forest Division of the Forestry Commission (FC) donated ten cubic metres (10 m3) of legal timber for the practical training sessions. During a demonstration of the milling techniques that they had acquired, the trainees milled at an efficiency rate of 65 to 87 percent.
A government team made up of the District Chief Executive Officer of the Prestea/Hunni Valley District Assembly, Robert Wisdom Cudjoe and representatives of the Business Advisory Centre and the Department of Community Development visited the workshop to acquaint themselves with the training activities.
The team reiterated government’s support for the Artisanal Milling Concept and the Insu Siding Artisanal Millers Association and urged them to liaise with the district assembly for future training workshops to explore possible sources of funding for their trainings, especially from financial institutions.
The artisanal millers expressed their gratitude to the CSM Project for the new skills imparted on them by the training workshop since they now possess the ability to mill legal lumber for the domestic market. They were also of the view that milling with the Wood Mizer, which was utilised during the training session, was much more efficient and economical than using chainsaws which have wasted the country’s timber resources over the years.