Use of emerging technologies in the commercial forestry industry: Case studies of Botswana and Zimbabwe
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There are significant commercial forestry activities in Botswana and in Zimbabwe. Operations in Botswana, unlike those in Zimbabwe, are limited to the felling and milling of indigenous timber. Zimbabwean operations include large- scale production, milling, and secondary conversion of timber. Technologies used in all these operations are basically traditional but generally satisfactory with respect to reliability and with respect to meeting market product specifications. In general, the industry in both countries takes a positive view to emerging technologies and attempts to keep abreast with developments in this area. The industry is, however, cautious about adopting these technologies. This caution derives mostly from the apparent satisfactory operations from the current technologies and from some fear of possible difficulties which may arise with respect to indigenizing these technologies once adopted. Besides these considerations, capacity exists for Zimbabwe particularly to engage some of these technologies. The most promising ones for Zimbabwe are in the area of secondary biobleaching for the expanding pulp and paper industry, timber drying kilns to enable effective control of timber delivery times, and information technology for operations management. ETs potential for Botswana is more limited. Prospects are greatest in timber waste conversion to charcoal and in localised power generation using timber wastes from field and sawmill operations. Any acquisition or development of these technologies will, however, be individual company effort without any significant assistance from government or from parent multinational companies.
Additional Citation InformationMaya, R.S. (1990). Use of emerging technologies in the commercial forestry industry: Case studies of Botswana and Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies. 48p.
Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies