NABAWAN, July 25 — Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor has urged all the timber industry players in Sabah to transform this industry by applying the Economic Value Chain (EVC) concept which integrates both the upstream and downstream sectors.
He said the upstream and downstream timber processing industry had bean a stand-alone sector all this while. meaning that the upstream product could not fully match the downstream demand.
“With the EVC concept, the output lines will be integrated and raise productivity on a bigger scale,” he said in his speech during a working visit to Jawala Plantation Industries Sdn Bhd in Sapulut, here, today.
Hajiji said this was his first such visit to a Sustainable Forest Management Licence Agreement (SFMLA) concession area since becoming Chief Minister to see for himself the physical development under the Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) initiative in the forestry sector, i.e, the Forest Plantation Transformation through the Forest Plantation Development Action Plan 2022-2036, launched on last March 22.
He said through this action plan, the state government targeted to develop 400,000 hectares of forest plantations in the Commercial Forest Reserve areas by 2036.
“This timber forest development strategy is aimed at reducing dependency of the downstream timber industry on the original forests as the source of raw material supply while maintaining the sector’s competitiveness in the future.
“Between six and eight million cubic metres of timber supply are expected to be produced through the harvesting of 40,000 hectares of forest plantations each year.
“This will ensure sufficient and sustainable supply of the raw material for the timber industry with the potential of contributing about RM11.5 billion to Sabah’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), creating 40,000 job opportunities and further expanding the timber processing industry,” he added.
Hajiji noted that the Sabah Forestry Department’s statistics showed that 165,198 hectares of forest plantations had been developed by the SFMLA concession holder at the Commercial Forest Reserve areas.
“This shows a progress rate of 41.3 per cent from the targeted 400,000 hectares under the Forest Plantation Development Action Plan,” he said.
Hajiji also said that the forest plantations had directly contributed to the Malaysia Greening Programme through the campaign of planting 100 million trees, with Sabah targeting to plant 40 million trees by 2025.
“Till now, 7.5 million trees have been planted across the state with the involvement of the SFMLA concession company, government agencies, the private sector, schoolchildren and members of the public. — Bernama