Charcoal Producers discuss new regulations

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Windhoek

The Namibia Charcoal Producers Association held a management meeting on October 9 at Otjiwarongo. Some of the most important matters discussed were the new Forestry Regulations which were published recently and the enforcement thereof by the Forestry offices, as well as the negative reporting about charcoal in some of the media.

The management decided that the Director of Forestry should be approached to hold a one-day workshop with officials of all the Forestry offices during which the current problems which are experienced in the different charcoal regions can be discussed so that workable solutions can be found. The development of kilns which discharge less smoke than the current ones are currently being produced and tested and will hopefully be available in the near future.

In the meantime an appeal is made to all charcoal producers to manage the smoke made by the kilns better. Avoid producing charcoal directly along national main roads or near houses of neighbouring farms. If the chopped wood is dried before burning, it will make less smoke than wet wood. Spread the kilns so that they are not all at the same place and take the wind into consideration. The 15 metre broad belts which must be cleaned around the kilns as prescribed in the new regulations are not practical and the Association undertook to write a letter of objection to the Director of Forestry about this.

A representative of the „Namibia Procurement Fund“ who also attended the meeting made the charcoal producers and processors attend that their bridging finance for SME’s, which includes the charcoal producers, is available to assist with cash flow. Invoices of transactions will serve as security and up to 75% of the invoice amount can be advanced. The minimum amount which can be lent is N$100 000 and the maximum amount is N$32million at 2% interest per month. Further details can be found on their website www.namprofund.com.na.

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