The National Association of Charcoal Producers Dealers Exporters Association of Nigeria (NACPDEAN) has called on charcoal producers to engage in afforestation to curb deforestation in the country.
The call was made on Saturday, October 1, 2022, in Minna, Niger State, during a Sensitisation between NACPDEAN and key stakeholders in Niger for collaboration and inauguration of its new executives.
The event was in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Niger State Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
Mr Tunde Edu, President NACPDEAN, said that one of the reasons why the association exists is to regulate charcoal production and its core aim is to go into aggressive afforestation.
He said that although charcoal has come to stay as source of cooking energy, the government cannot allow falling of trees and destroying the environment as it will lead to deforestation and cause climate change.
“The producer’s of charcoal engage in the falling down of trees and a lot of them are uneducated to know the consequences of what they are doing,
“So the organisation will fill in the gaps to ensure that we educate our producers on ways to fall trees especially those who fall economical trees,” he said.
Edu added that the event aimed to create awareness and sensitise producers of charcoal concerning felling of economical trees.
“I am aware that some people use the economical trees like Shea butter, mango, cashew and orange among others for charcoal production because they don’t have awareness.
“There is no education for this people to let them know that all these economical trees are there for the benefit of the community, state and nation at large.
“So we will be giving out a lot of educational tips and awareness in all local languages to let people know that even if you want to go into charcoal production, there are some tress that can’t be used.
“Also in our afforestation programme, we have a design to be planting more of the indigenous trees of that state to ensure that what is fallen is replaced,” he said.
He also added that the association would embark on botanical charcoal production that will not come from wood but from chaff, waste etc.
“We are looking at diversifying going into industrial charcoal which is briquettes and we can use several materials for it.
“We will also be engaging with Niger Government to ensure that ban on charcoal is lifted and regulated to put an end to illegal charcoal production and exportation.
“We will also ensure that everyone engaged in charcoal production is licensed yearly in order to have traceability and know how it is produced,” Edu said.
Mr Daniel Galadima, Commissioner of Environment and Forestry, represented by Mr Musa Sharif, Director, Forestry Service, expressed willingness to support the association with the necessary things for afforestation.
“With the alarming rate of deforestation across the state, we are saddled with the responsibility of regulating it.
“By the coming of this association, we are ready to give charcoal producers an enabling environment with the consciousness of commitment.
“We are all talking of planting which requires commitment so we are ready to partner with NACPDEAN to see how we can operate under sustainability.
“So we are ready to cooperate as long as the organisation is committed to afforestation and reforestation project as they indicated in their mandate,” Sharif said.
Furthermore, Yusuf Mohammad, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, represented by Alh. Adamu Garba, Director Agric Service, while congratulating the new executive, said that it was important to always reforestate for food safety.
“I want to congratulate the association for the inauguration of new executives.
“We at the ministry are usually not happy when trees are cut because it creates room for desertification that leads to calamity in the sense that there will be wind erosion, water erosion and no production of crops,
“When there is no production of crops, there will be no food and when there is no food there is no nation.
“We have decided to develop 800,000 hectares of land for the planting of different trees especially economic trees with low hanging fruits for the benefit of our farmers,” he said.
He also expressed his excitement about the charcoal production, saying it will boost economic growth and development on the basis that they will keep replacing all the trees they cut.
Also, Mr Kingsley Amadi. Secretary-General of the association, appealed to the incoming executives to ensure that they carry out the mandate of the association without failure.
“We need to venture into afforestation which is simply planting of trees. If we don’t plant trees today, we will not be able to have trees for charcoal production in the future.
“The Federal Government placed a ban on charcoal because of deforestation and the only way we can tackle this is by engaging in massive reforestation to ensure we replace the trees we cut.
“I appeal to the incoming executives of the association that have been inaugurated today to execute its mandate to achieve the vision and mission of adequately contributing to the well-being of our national forest and environment,” he said.
By Sarafina Christopher