Alternative timbers to Iroko (Milicia excelsa) for various end-uses: Ghana’s offer
S A Amartey, Zeen Huang, A Attah
There are hundreds of timber species indigenous to Ghana and several exotic species have been
extensively planted. The timber industry in Ghana is very important to the country’s economy. Despite
its small size relative to the world trade in timber products, it has the potential to be a driving force in the development of the Ghanaian economy. The industry is currently going through a period of change and restructuring which is largely brought about by the need to address the issues of a reducing resource and to use the available resource more efficiently and to greater economic benefit by promoting the lesser used species as alternatives to the over-exploited primary species and also by developing the tertiary processing sector.
Iroko (Milicia excelsa) is one of the primary species currently facing extinction and Dahoma (Piptadanistrum africanus), Ekki (Lophira elata), Kusia (Nauclea diderrichii) and Papao (Afzelia bella) are lesser-used species being promoted as good alternatives to Iroko for various end uses. Properties (mechanical, biological) and volumes of these species are compared to those of Iroko.