By ZBC Reporter
STATE-owned entity Allied Timbers Zimbabwe has acquired vehicles worth more than 900 000 United States dollars as the timber giant targets to improve and expand its operations.
The timber giants acquired 18 vehicles, including two tipper trucks, two fire trucks and four tractors are set to improve operations at the company’s timber estates in Manicaland Province.
Guest of honour at the handover ceremony of the vehicles in Mutare this Wednesday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change , Tourism and Hospitality Industry Mr Munesu Munodawafa challenged the company to prioritise value addition and beneficiation in order to compete on the global market.
We need to look to the future. We need to value add and export because we have capacity we have the timber and we have the land. So I want to thank you for your current efforts and the vision that is clearly self-demonstrating. The equipment we have today is a milestone in addressing some of the key challenges that have been bedevilling ATZ, he said.
Manicaland Provincial Development Coordinator Mr Edgars Seenza, who represented Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba, pledged government’s commitment to deal with illegal settlers who are disrupting production in timber estates.
We have a plan as a province and once we go through with the modalities we will share with you so that we move forward with a view to creating an enabling environment for you to carry out your operations more effectively and efficiently, said Seenza.
Allied Timbers Board Chair Mr Itayi Ndudzo reiterated the company’s commitment to improving operations.
Allied Timbers continues to address value chain challenges that constrain production capacity, service delivery to clients and potential growth of your company. Despite the drought challenges ATZ has utilized the rain and managed to plant 600 hectares in the month of December, he noted.
The parastatal has been reeling under low capacity utilisation over the years owing to obsolete machinery and uncontrolled fires mainly caused by illegal settlers among other challenges, but with the current developments the future of the country’s largest timber base is expected to change for the better.