Zambian timber producers have appealed to government to rescind the export ban that came into effect on Wednesday.
Timber Producers Association (TPA) president Charles Masange says the ban will have a detrimental effect on the economy.
“Timber exports contribute greatly to the national economy and treasury, and the ban will result in government losing revenue in foreign exchange in addition to affecting the livelihood of many Zambians,” Masange says.
He says promoting corruption will be another unintended consequence of the ban.
On Wednesday lands minister Jean Kapata announced the export ban of all timber species, including the sought-after Mukula tree.
The minister said the ban was necessary to curb rapid deforestation arising from illegal timber harvesting.
In accordance with the ban, logs may be impounded if found outside certain logging areas. Offenders can also be prosecuted.
Masanga says loggers need a grace period of 30 to 60 days to enable them to move certain species which have to be processed further away from these specified areas.