The 4th World Teak Conference has opened in Accra, with a charge by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to delegates to come out with recommendations that will bring dignity to the environment.

The Vice President who was represented by Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah said  Ghana is the destination of choice for investors looking to explore and do business on the Teak Market.

4th World Teak Conference opens in Accra

“Ghana is a land of opportunities right from pre-colonial days, we are a place where opportunities abound and as the world focuses on post economic recovery, and seeks to examine the opportunities in the Teak market, Ghana is the best place to do this”.

He proudly established. Highlighting on the global market value of Teak,  the Information Minister said it is estimated around $400-600 million dollars per annum.

The Minister for Information said for a product that takes between 10-25 years to reach its market potential, it requires tenacity, clarity with interventions, policy coherence and sustainability measures to survive it when producing it, stressing that the outcome of the three day engagement will help Ghana and the global efforts of the contribution of the Teak Industry.

Minister for Lands and Natural Samuel Abu Jinapor said Ghana has prioritized forest landscape restoration, and especially commercial forest plantations, anchored around teak and other timber species.

“We are implementing an aggressive afforestation and reforestation programme, through the Youth in Afforestation Project, the Modified Taungya System, the Forest Investment Program, and quite recently the Green Ghana Initiative”

He asserted that currently, teak is the most exported timber species from Ghana, both in terms of volume and value.

“Last year, for instance, teak constituted fifty-four (54%) by volume, and forty-five percent (45%) by value, of all the forty-two (42) timber species and wood products exported from the country”.

4th World Teak Conference opens in Accra

The Sector Minister urged all participants to be actively engaged during the conference and to utilise this great opportunity, especially the Business-to-Business sessions, to establish strategic alliances and business networks.

He said it is his expectation that the outcomes from this conference will ensure more value-addition to teak products from the emerging markets and developing economies to improve rural livelihoods and returns on Teak investments in general, through a fair and transparent market system that equitably allocates benefits to all players along the value chain.

On his part, the CEO of Forestry Commission, Mr. John Allotey who delivered the Welcome Address said Ghana is privileged to host the world in Accra the Centre of the Earth for the 4th World Teak Conference.

He said the conference revolves around the Production of Teak, and the presence of key stakeholders from Academia, Researchers, Policy Makers, Exporters and Marketers is a testament of the great value and importance of Teak.

He used the opportunity to rally participants on the three day Teak conference to participate in the Field trip organized by the local organizing committee to explore Ghana. “our beautiful culture, warm and friendly people, delicious cuisines and peaceful atmosphere”.

4th World Teak Conference opens in Accra

The President of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, (IUFRO) Dr. John Parrotta in his statement gave an overview of IUFRO and its linkage with Teak, adding that he is proud of the commitment by governments and organizations to research and invest into the timber specie.

He said as a proud partner and financier of the the 4th World Teak Conference, he is hopeful that the conference will afford participants the opportunity to connect,  share ideas and contribute to the growing conversation on the opportunities and challenges of Teak on the Global Market.

In a Thematic Address, Mr. Rahul Ahuja the CEO and Founder of Aaron Global gave a three phased presentation on the theme of the conference, naming his organisation as an exclusive Indian sales partner and the world’s largest Teak trader.

His presentation encompassed the Teak Market landscape which he said has a global plantation Teak Market of 1.4million geometric cbm per year, while disclosing that India is the dominant Market for teak in the world with 94% production capacity, and the other 6% coming from Vietnam and China.

Mr. Rahul Ahuja named a couple of uses for Teak, saying that up to 80% of the commodity is used for doors and door frames while the other 20% for Furniture and others.

4th World Teak Conference opens in Accra

The opening ceremony also afforded other World Captains in the Forestry industry to make some statements on the conference.

These Captains included Mr. Walter Kollert, TEAKNET Steering Committee, Ms. Sheam Satkuru Executive Director, International Tropical Timber Organizations(ITTO), Japan and a Representative from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

The conference on the theme; Global Teak Market: Challenges and Opportunities for Emerging Markets and Developing Economies, saw over 300 participants from 31 countries across (5) continents – Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America, representing governments, policy makers, private sector, academia, professional foresters, researchers, development partners, civil society players and students.

4th World Teak Conference opens in Accra