Did you know that there is a growing trend from employment or production related economic activities towards self-employed services delivery generating value addition and growth in Africa? Are you a forester and do you want to own a business? – Become a service provider in the growing commercial forestry sector in Tanzania
Africa service sector holds tremendous economic promise, the service economy in Africa is a vital source of income and employment. In some African countries, two third of the workforce are engaged in service and one third of the formal employment originate from the sector as recorded from 2009 to 2012. Africa middle class continues to grow and given current population and urbanisation trends, this sector is expected to expand as the Africa population is expected to continue to grow.
Overview of the commercial forestry sector in Tanzania
The southern highlands of Tanzania is one of the areas with the best tree growing conditions in the world. An estimated 60,000 small tree growers have established woodlots (60,000 ha) and many large private companies (50,000 ha), and the public sector (80,000) have established large scale forest plantations in this part of Tanzania. More recently a new group of tree growers, domestic investors have entered the commercial forestry sector. It is estimated that there are at least 3,000 Tanzanian investors who have established commercial tree plantations in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, in total covering an area of at least 100,000 ha worth more than 60 million USD. Despite the scale and amount of money invested, the majority in these plantations are of low quality because seedling production and plantation establishment services are provided by individuals with limited skills and no formal education in forestry. These medium scale domestic forestry investors are exposed to high economic risks and are consequently in high demand for quality advisory services which they are willing to pay for.
Domestic investors in commercial forestry are faced with the following challenges:
- Uncertain land tenure arrangements for their tree plantation investment
- Limited specialist advice on species-site-market matching
- Low quality planting material
- Low quality plantation establishment (insufficient land preparation, irregular spacing, no blanking, insufficient weeding etc)
- Low quality plantation maintenance (limited or no thinning, no or damaging pruning, insufficient fire prevention measures, inappropriate fire suppression etc)
- Unrealistic expectation of return on investment (ROI)
- Limited harvesting, market intermediaries and marketing services
- Low client confidence and trust in existing service provision
- Documentation and reporting
- Lack of contractual, legally enforceable agreements between investors and service providers
FDT is looking for interested foresters with the following qualifications who are ready and willing to grab the opportunity:
- Diploma/degree in forestry from a recognised institution
- Practical business experience or passion for entrepreneurship
- Ability to handle multiple tasks in fast-paced environment
- Computer literate (MS-Word and Excel)
- Desire to become a service provider in commercial forestry
- Willingness to spend much time on woodlots under all weather conditions
- Self-motivated, innovative, independent, entrepreneurial mindset, good communicator, team player, diligent and hardworking.
How to Apply
Interested foresters should write a short statement either in Swahili/English not exceeding two A4 pages based on the below questions and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org not later than 14 days from the date of appearance of this advertisement.
- What kind of services could you develop to address the above challenges?
- Which strategies could you use to reach out to your clients?
- Which criteria could you use to price each of your services?
- Which tools could you need to deliver those services?
Successful applicants with the most innovative ideas will have access to the following:
- Work alongside experienced FDT staff for a period not exceeding six months
- Learn about the commercial forestry sector in Tanzania
- Practical exposure to latest silvicultural advances in commercial forestry
- Capacity building in business development and entrepreneurial skills
- Learn specific services relevant to commercial tree growers
- Linkages to potential clients through promotions and awareness events
Please note that this is not an employment but rather a temporary internship support for trained foresters to become commercially successful entrepreneurs providing services to diverse tree growers in Tanzania.