Allied Timbers Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (ATZ), a wholly owned Government of Zimbabwe Company, has embarked on a self-funding seven hundred and fifty thousand US-dollar (US$750,000) de-stumping exercise of old-growth moribund Eucalyptus trees that will see 170 hectares of land at Mtao Forest in Mvuma and Ngungunyana Forest in Chipinge cleared as implementation of a robust re-greening strategy in which the replanting will be with new Eucalyptus tree species. This is also the first time in almost two decades that the company has been able to carry-out the exercise. The destumping is part of a targeted 3,424-hectare-planting programme for this year alone.
According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of ATZ, Mr. Remigo Nenzou, this exercise makes history in the life of the company as it was relying on a less productive tree resource planted many years ago and with coppiced stems which are unable to guarantee the quantity and quality demanded by ATZ customers.
Mr Nenzou said it was prudent that each generation of foresters in this industry plant trees to sustain the much-needed poles and avoid compromising on quality and shortages. Of the targeted 3424 hectares, ATZ has already planted over one thousand hectares. The exercise is a commitment by ATZ to nation and its customers an excellent service.
He added that this year ATZ has started a self-re-capitalisation programme where in which two major projects are targeted in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2020. The first project is the commissioning of a sawmill and kilns at Cashel Estates at a cost of US$3.8 million and is expected to run by September 2020. The second is atNyangui Estate which is on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement and will be commissioned in the fourth quarter. These two projects are expected to produce eighty thousand cubic metres of sawn timber annualy when fully operational. Other projects which are also self-funded include the purchase of off-road supervisory vehicles for operations on ATZ forest Estates.
Last year, ATZ also went on a self-funding initiative where it funded the Boards and Doors plant, a compressor, four tractors and the purchase of five 25-tonne haulage trucks for its forestry operations. The company has ten (10) Forest Management Units (FMUs) mainly in Manicaland and the Midlands Provinces.