13 Sep

Darwin Initiative Newsletter July 2011

Birdlife International and Bird Conservation Nepal, with support from other institutions including the Cambridge Concervation Initative and Kings College London, are implementing a project to develop a rapid approach to measuring ecosystem service at the site-scale. Using simple, yes robust protocols and methods, this project will build capacity nationally to assess and value ecosystem services.


13 Sep

Once alien ‘crop’ is now fast changing lives in Kilombero

Its peculiar, extra large leaves with slender tall stems, gives teak an unusual foliage and make it stand out of the crowd. Once alien trees, they have now become common part of habitat in Ulanga and Kilombero districts in Morogoro region thanks to Kilombero Valley Teak Company (KVTC), which introduced the ‘crop’ in the region about 20 years ago.

Though they are now common features to the extent that even some locals have started to grow them, a journey to make teak popular in this parts of the country was not easy, as testified by KVTC current general manager, Mr Hans Lemm.

But this stage was reached after complicated process. Through continuous communication and interaction with the surrounding villages the company managed to change the initial scepticism into a situation where, by today, most people grow teak in their homesteads.

Article by Peter Nyanje, Published in The Citizen on 19th September 2011

16 Aug

Company Assist Village to Plant 6000 hectares trees

Village surrounding Kilombero Valley Teak Company (KVTC) has been assisted to develop 64 hectares of teak trees in a sustainable program for different villages in Ulanga and Kilombero. Talking to different project stakeholders KVTC Social Manager Kennedy Haule said this project is an asset for participating villages.

Also this seminar was attended with Ward Councilors, Village Executive Officers, Divisional officers and Forest Officers from area surrounding teak plantation. Haule said these farms will be source of income and contribute towards community development projects. Mentioned participating villages includes; Igumbiro, Idete, Nakafulu, Kidugalo, Iragua and Itete Minazini and that between 2007 to 2010 KVTC has spent 36 million as direct cost of establishment for village teak plot. Said that all income from the teak plot will help the village while KVTC supports all operations of managing of this farm.

That manager said besides of this village teak trees growing, KVTC has financially empowered local community to develop different community projects which aim to improve education, health and environment.

Also said KVTC is conducting annual village seminar to increase public awareness in developing teak project in Kilombero river Valley which involves different leaders from Ulanga and Kilombero districts.

Haule said despite of community engagements, the company has started processing small diameter logs into valuable products for markets.

KVTC is raising seedlings and local communities are allowed to buy seedlings/stumps and processed timber for furniture.

Earlier when opening the seminar Kilombero District Council Chairman Pius Affa explained there is a need to have good relation between local people, leaders and investors in order to bring community development.

Affa said without co operation they will be no success, and encourage the investors to increase the effort to invest in short term project in order the community to get earlier benefit and not to wait this crop which take 18 to 25 years to get the benefits.

07 Mar

KVTC success at trade show

decorexTC Wooden Floors were shown at the recent Decorex Trade Show in Johannesburg in cooperation with Rhoms Timber World from South Africa.

The trade show was a great success and KVTC believes that this is the first step towards the launch of KVTC’s product range in South Africa

18 Oct

TZ gets $8.8m wood facility

By BW Reporter, featured in East African Business Week:

Opportunities to Watch

Tanzania. DAR. Kilombero Valley Teak Company Ltd (KVTC) has established a modern sawmill and wood processing facility worth US $8.8 million to generate export revenue.

KVTC said that the processing plants were commissioned in August this year and will generate substantial and sustainable export revenue in excess of US $10 million per annum.

Speaking to East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam last week, the Forest Products Manager of KVTC, Mr Hans Lemm, said out of generating export revenue, the progress will also work to boost production capacity of woods in the country.

KVTC has managed to plant approximately 7,800 hectares of teak trees since 1993 and manages approximately 20,000 hectares of indigenous forestry land in the country. According to KVTC, as part of the normal management regime of the plantations at TVTC thinning is now being harvested fro more mature compartments.

“In order to process this teak, KVTC has decided to construct a modern sawmill and wood processing facility worth US $8.8 million from which teak flooring and other products will be exported from Tanzania,” said Mr Lemm.

Mr Lemm added that markets for KVTC’s products are mostly in the far east, Europe and Northern America. KVTC says, the investment is one of the most significant in the East African forestry sector.

The addition of the processing plants in 2009 is fulfilling its commitment at inception of processing the trees where they are grown, so that the local people may benefit from the entire process of KVTC activity,” explained Mr Lemm.

KVTC Community Development manager, Mr Kennedy Haule said that his firm has so far provided employment opportunities to around 700 people on its plantations.

“There is a direct employment of approximately 120 people who work and manage its plantations and 110 people that are employment at the wood processing facilities,” said Mr Haule.

According to the firm’s general manager, the processing complex in arguably the most modern factory of its kind in Africa and north of South Africa.

14 Oct

Forestry company now to export processed teak

By Orton Kiishweko, featured in Daily News 6th October 2009

The Government’s efforts to effect a value added goods market received a boost yesterday when a forestry company announced its foray into wood supply chain with expected annual export revenue of 130bn/-.

The company’s entry into the processing industry incidentally comes following recent UN data, showing that demand for paper products in Europe is expected to increase by 80 per cent by 2030.

Europe is one of the projected high end major markets for Kilombero Valley Teak Company (KVTC) products expected to start leaving the Dar es Salaam port in two months time, according toe the Forest Products Manager, Mr Hans Lemm.

Mr Lemm said the East African high end markets would eat up 10 per cent of the company’s products in the projected market size in the next six months after processing started in September this year.

On certainty of the products’ reception onto the European markets, the General Manager, Mr Riaan Van, noted during the announcement yesterday that KVTC had already been certified under the TLTV scheme which guarantees buyers that the products were legally sourced and are sourced from well-managed forests. This is a step taken by large scale wood producers all over the world in line with the European law passed earlier this year, calling for all wood companies to start providing information about the source of the products they trade in the EU.

The EU is one of the main projected markets for Tanzanian companies’ products.

The move by European markets was to ostensibly protect the forests but also clean the trade as Governments streamlined the commercialisation of forest produce.

Such large scale companies have been in the spotlight in their quest to get land for their activities, but KVTC cleared the air when they noted that all their procedures had been audited by both national and international bodies.

Their venture into processing has seen the company construct a modern sawmill and wood processing facility from which teak flooring and other products will be exported from the country.

The processing plan, which is the largest sawmill in Africa outside South Africa, was commissioned in August, this year and is expected to generate export revenue in excess of $10 (130bn/) each year.

It is a result f the company’s transformation programme from plantation development into commercial forestry and wood processing operation.

Mr Van said other important markets were the United States, Southeast Asia and the Indian domestic market, explaining that: “We expect significant sales due to the fact that we add value to our products.”

By 2015, the company will be buying products from small-scale producers, some of whom are neighbours in Kilombero, being supported with technical knowledge and teak tree seeds for their schemes.

14 Oct

Farmers in Kilombero, Ulanga receive assurances on merits of cultivating teak trees on their farms

By Sayuni Kimaro, featured in This day, Tuesday 6th October 2009

Planting of teak trees will not force people to abandon their agricultural activities as most of the crops are harvested annually while teak trees have a long lifespan leading to their harvesting.

Kilombero Valley Teak Company General Manager, Riaan Van Wyk, stated this yesterday during a seminar to introduce teak trees, which mainly produce wood as well as poles whose farming is done in Ulanga and Kilombero districts.

In his presentation, Wyk said the company’s mandate is to develop an economically viable and sustainable forestry business with high standards of environmental and social standards. Currently 30 per cent of the total land is planted with teak while the balance of land is managed under different regimes.

He said planting teak trees would have no deforestation impact as comprehensive assessment was done before establishing the plantation. According to him, establishment of plantations in evergreen forests or riparian zones should ensure the buffer zones to water ways are maintained.

Concerning the teak out-grower programme, Wyk mentioned that all areas planted with the trees are continuously inspected and the same standards are applied to KVTC’s own planted areas.

He said the aim is to reach the first harvest after 15 years and generate revenue for small scale teak growers.

“Of the unplanted areas, 50% will be utilised for sustainable harvesting of indigenous species and balance more sensitive areas not utilized for timber. The programme is designed in such a way that if a person cuts a tree, he/she must replace it by planting of to ensure that there are no deforestation worries at all,” he noted.

KVTC Forest Product Manager, Hans Lemm, noted that with regard to climatic changes tat are being witnessed currently they’re well prepared and ready to capitalise on heavy rains.

KVTC’s shareholders include the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) and Finnfund which are members of the EDFI (the association of European Development Finance Institutions), a group of 17 bilateral institutions which provide long term private sector finance for developing economies.


14 Oct

Kilombero, Ulanga residents benefit more from teak trees

By Patrick Kisembo, October 6th 2009

Residents of Kilombero and Ulanga districts in Morogoro have established a sustainable and complementary teak out-grower industry, providing room for a continuous income generation.

This was said on Monday in Dar es Salaam by the Kilombero Valley Teak Company Limited General Manager, Riaan Van Wyk, at a familiarization workshop with editors and senior reporters from various media houses.

He said the company developed a forestry expertise which is made available to the local communities along with seedlings making teak familiar to hundreds of small-scale cultivators.

“We have been distributing seedlings to local communities who in turn now, have started selling plans to us,” said Riaan Van Wyk.

Wyk said the community would soon benefit after the company’s newly established processing plants which started operating in September this year.

“We are so much involved in several social activities including teak out growers and beekeeping programmes to empower the communities surrounding us with economic base for their lives,” he said.

Earlier on, the company’s Corporate Social Manager, Kennedy Haule said previously the company got problems in convincing the local community that they would benefit from the teak project.

“Many of them did not buy the idea, but as days passed, some started adopting and later found themselves better off than others,” said Haule.

He said the company had given out 14,000 teak seedlings to the village communities and individuals for cultivation.

He said the majority of them plant teak on farm boundaries as borders and some few apply mixed farming for the first two to three years of teak growth.

Haule said the company has established strict rules to ensure it works collaboratively with the local community in preservation of the environment.

“We have created social fund with a joint account with nine villages where we work together in establishing schools, dispensaries, classes and infrastructure. We involve the village communities in maintaining and managing these projects,” he said.

Haule said further that villagers in the nine villages are able to control fire outbreak, illegal hunting and invasion of the area by people.


14 Oct

Kilombero pumps $8.8m into modern wood factory

By Leonard Magomba, featured in The East African, October 19th 2009

Kilombero Valley Teak Company Ltd has invested $8.8 million into a modern sawmill and wood processing factory to process wood and timber products locally.

The factory, commissioned in August this year, is expected to generate export revenue in excess of $10 million per annum.

Hans Lemm, the forest product manager said the company decided to invest in the plant to add value to local harvested teak and boost production capacity of wood by-products in the country.

“The final products have so far secured markets in the Far East, Europe, East Africa and north America and this investment has distinguished the company to be one of the most significant investments in the East African forestry sector,” he said.

The company has so far planted approximately 7,800 hectares of teak trees since 1993 and manages approximately 20,000 hectares of indigenous forest land.

Community Development manager Kennedy Haule said that the company currently employs about 700 people directly and indirectly on its plantations.

“There is direct employment of approximately 120 people who work and manage the plantations and 110 people are employed at the wood processing facilities,” said Mr. Haule.

Over the past five years Kilombero has contributed approximately $150,000 to a number of local projects among them schools, dispensaries, housing for teachers and village halls.

In 2004, Kilombero was awarded ISO 14001 certification in conformation that the company’s environmental management standards meet international criteria.

General manager Riaan Van Wyk said the company has maintained its ISO 14001 certification since then, with annual audits being successfully done.

Mr Van Wyk sad that this year, SGS certified the company under the Timber Legality and Traceability Verification scheme which guarantees buyers of its products that they were legally sourced and are from well-managed forests.

With major shareholders including UK and Finnish development funds, Kilombero is dedicated to delivering high value teak wood and by-products, sustainably and ethically sourced.


Copyright © 2009 - 2014 Kilombero Valley Teak Company.