Toolsie Persaud ‘pumps’ US$3.5M into new timber operation
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Typical economic activities in the Kartabo-Puruni District
Typical economic activities in the Kartabo-Puruni District

— company says project will inject approximately US$600,000 per year into the Kartabo Triangle

TOOLSIE Persaud Timber Traders Incorporated (TPTTI), a renowned pioneer in the development of Guyana’s timber sector, plans to expand its operations with a new project in the Kartabo Triangle, Region Seven.

The project, which has been in the works for a few years, is now being reviewed by the Environmental Project Agency (EPA). Approval from the EPA will pave the way for the company to acquire State Forest Authorisation (SFA) from the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC).

Prior to this stage of the process, the company had acquired a State Forest Exploratory Permit (SFEP), to explore the potential that exists across 66,873 hectares of State forests situated in the general Kartabo Triangle.

The SFEP, according to the company, allows it inter alia, to access the area and to determine the feasibility of conducting logging operations there, subject to the interest of other stakeholders, including public agencies, other loggers and nearby communities.

The company has invested about US$1.5 million on exploratory operations and another US$2 million to conduct management level inventory, develop a road network, organise the concession area into compartments and blocks and conduct 100 per cent forest inventories at the southern end of the concession area.

“TPTTI will harvest logs from the concession area which will be transported some 106km to Iteballi, then trans-shipped via barge to coastal locations. No sawmilling (or any other form of wood processing) is contemplated within the concession area. Timber harvesting will be guided by all applicable legislation, Codes of Practice and GFC guidelines,” the company related in an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) submitted to the EPA.

Based on the company’s projections, it will harvest an area of 900 hectares per annum for a projected annual yield of 17,031.42m3.

The concession area, as it is now, will be accessed via the Iteballi-Puruni Road, then through the Old Granny Road to the left bank Mara-Mara River.

According to TPTTI, the potential operations will add to the vibrant economy within the Kartabo Triangle. This area has an estimated population of about 4,000 persons of which 90 per cent are employed in the logging and mining sectors.

The two communities that are critical for development of enterprises in the area are Iteballi (400 persons) and Puruni Landing (300 persons).

“TPTTI’s projections are that it will inject U$600,000 per year directly into the economy of the Kartabo Triangle…. and TPTTI will also support preventative maintenance of the Iteballi-Puruni Road,” TPTTI related.

The company, over the years, has contributed to the national economy by employing around 2,000 persons and it remains in the forefront of exporting Guyana’s well-known tropical hardwoods.

“It maintains its dominant position through significant and ongoing investments in modern plant and equipment and training of relevant personnel, technical expertise and time-tested customer relations,” TPTTI said.

The company prides itself as one which places significant emphasis on protection of the environment through its safe and efficient timber harvesting practices.

Healthy forests, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), support sustainable agriculture because, among other things, these ecosystems stabilise soils and climate, regulate water flows, and provide shelter and habitat to pollinators and natural predators of agricultural pests.

Forests generate almost one-third of the income of rural families in developing countries, either through monetary income or through satisfying subsistence needs.

In Guyana, output in the forestry sector expanded by 11.3 per cent last year, reflecting higher demand from construction activities.

This favourable performance was mainly on account of a 27.3 per cent increase in logs of other species along with a 27.0 per cent increase in greenheart logs.

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