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Papua New Guinea

Timber SMEs must network: Ambang

BY JOAN BAILEY

Small sawmill operators in the timber industry must work together in order to control pricing for timber.

Tropical Niugini Woods Limited (TNWL) owner Jack Ambang said this when discussing the challenges of small to medium entrepreneurs struggling to survive in the timber business.

Mr Ambang said there is demand in the industry but there is no networking between small timber operators to decide the standard pricing for the sawn timber they produce.

“We have a lot of locals cutting trees on their land and producing different timber sizes that goes for very cheap prices.

“We have to get the value for our timber products and the best approach is to establish central location where all local timber producers can bring in their timbers for dressing before it can be sold,” he said.

Mr Ambang said sawmill operators especially in Morobe must network with existing and bigger timber operators so they can work together in discussing the standard of their timber products and control the pricing in the market.

He said currently customers are deciding the timber prices while the producers have no choice because of booming small operators in the industry.

“There is a big need to form an association for the industry so this association can facilitate the processed timbers to international market and not as logs.

“The bigger players in the industry are generating millions while the little operators are struggling to get the monetary value out of their trees,” Mr Ambang said.

He recommended that the government needs to provide incentives for small operators who have survived in the industry for many years despite having little access to market and even struggling financially to keep their timber business going.

Mr Ambang said sawmill operators in the timber industry cannot be the same.

And they want to build a generation of processed timber for exporting and.

Not as round logs currently exported.

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