Minister Hosein witnesses Lottery Draw for Teak and Pine Units
A total of eighty-eight (88) teak units and forty-five (45) pine units were allocated to licensed sawmillers via a lottery draw hosted on Friday 23rd September, 2022, by the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF). Witnessing the process at San Fernando Hill, was the Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein, Acting Permanent Secretary (MALF), Ms. Coomarie Goolabsingh and Conservator of Forests, Mr. Denny Dipchansingh.
Minister Hosein, in his remarks prior to the commencement of the lottery proceedings, reminded staff of the need to provide optimal service to the Ministry’s valued stakeholders (including sawmillers) and emphasized the importance of achieving client satisfaction in all their interactions and undertakings. He said, “We as public servants have a duty to be of optimal service to the public and that requires that we not only be efficient in the execution of our duties but also accessible to the people in need of our service.” Minister Hosein also reaffirmed his commitment to work alongside each sawmiller, giving them the ministry’s full support.
In his reference to National Geographic and its identification of loggers as being amongst the top ten (10) most dangerous jobs in the world, Mr. Dipchansingh lauded the work of sawmillers and the integral role they play in the lumber industry. In the same vein, he urged them to be compliant with the relevant legislation governing the State’s management of forests and to work harmoniously with the staff of the Forestry Division as the sale of teak and pine is guided by a Cabinet-approved policy (Teak and Pine Sales Policy) which continues to evolve as it aims to treat adequately with the changing needs of the industry.
Each of the qualifying sawmillers eligible for teak units received their respective allocation while only forty percent (40 %) of qualifying Sawmillers succeeded in securing an allocation for pine units, due to their limited availability this year. Sawmillers who were successful in acquiring allocations at the lottery draw are to be formally notified of same within two (2) weeks, at which point, they would then have the option to either accept or decline the allocation after viewing their respective units.
The State’s teak and pine plantations currently stand at approximately 6,400 hectares of teak and 3,393 of pine which have a rotation cycle of fifty (50) and thirty (30) years, respectively.