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Mr Kays Project - Final

Mr Kays Project - Final

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Published by kays chapanda

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Published by: kays chapanda on May 20, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CHAPTER ONEIntroduction
This chapter will introduce the background of study, statement of the problem,objectives, research questions, assumptions, delimitations, limitations and theimportance of the study.
According to Mushongahande (2007), the timber industry is an oligopoly dominated by five players which are; the Wattle Company Limited, Mutare Board and Paper Mills, Allied Timbers, Boarder Timbers Limited and Forest Company of Zimbabwe.These companies have been experiencing a decline in production since 2005 due tosome damages on their plantations. Mushongahande added that, the Wattle CompanyLimited is the third largest producer of pine-sawn timber in Zimbabwe. It producesapproximately twenty percent of Zimbabwe's total annual timber output. Pine plantations of the Wattle Company, are located at Nyanga, Chimanimani, Vumba,Silverstream, Chipinge and Dunsinane Estates. Logs from these plantations aresupplied to the Nyanga estates to be processed.Mushongahande pointed out that, of the thirty nine million hectares of Zimbabwe,one hundred and eight thousand two hundred and fourteen (3%) of the total area isunder commercial plantations which are mainly found in the eastern highlands. Thedistribution of commercial tree species, is as follows: pines occupies seventy onethousand seven hundred and seventy one hectares (66.32%), eucalyptus occupiestwenty six thousand two hundred and seventy four hectares (24.28%), wattle haveten thousand and nine (9.25%) and other has one hundred and sixty hectares (0.15%).According to Mahonye and Makate (2009), timber production declined from a peak of 400000m3 to less than 350000m3 due to: influx of illegal settlers in Chimanimani plantations who are building houses in plantations, power outages and collapse of 
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cluster industries, prevented foresters from accessing plantations to replant or carryout other forestry operations, and fire outbreaks. Muchinguri (2009), also added thattimber exports during the 2008/09 season declined by 15.2%, against a backdrop of mounting challenges in the sector. Mabugu (2009), stated that timber declined from400000m3 in 2006 to 360000m3 in 2009.Mahonye and Makate recorded a 12.5% decrease, Muchinguri 15%, and Mabugurecorded a decrease of 10%. From these statistics we can come up with an averageof 12.5% decrease in timber output in the year 2009. Timber output is affected bydamages from people and animals. Nicolas and Beebe (1999), explained that once a plantation has been established it will be necessary to protect it against weather, fire, pests and animals. This calls for the implementation of security systems to protectthe plantations.The Wattle Company has its security systems to protect its plantations from danger  but however the systems are not operating effectively. The Wattle Company in tryingto improve the efficiency of its security systems, bought new firefighting vehiclesand bulldozers. But all these efforts did not yield good results, instead they increasedthe operational costs of the company and further increased the company’s losses.This resulted in the company retrenching some of its workers in 2008. Retrenchmentreduced the company’s costs to some extend but it did not increase timber output.As stated by Nicolas and Beebe (1999), timber output can only be improved byimproving the operations of security systems. The security systems need to beeffectively managed so as to reduce the loss of timber from plantations. However managers are facing many challenges in the process of managing these securitysystems. Such challenges create some loopholes in the security systems making themless effective. These challenges include economic, political, environmental, socialand legal challenges.
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Social challenges -
Social challenges include land conflicts with the community,activities of the community members and damages by domestic animals.According to Nicolas and Beebe (1999), many plantation fires arise from disputesover land ownership. They also added that burning by farmers in preparation of land for farming usually results in wild fires. Hirst (2007) also added that huntingactivities may damage plantations.
Economic challenges – 
Due to economic hardships many households have become relatively poor. Because of poverty people are doing whatever it takes tolive and this is the reason why some of the individuals have turned to timber  poaching. Some people who are desperately looking for employment deliberately burn plantations to create employment in the fire suppression and subsequentreplanting.
Environmental challenges -
The unpredictable weather and climatic conditionsimpose a great threat on the plantations. The location and terrain of the plantations make it difficult to protect them from fire, animals and poachers.
Political challenges -
In many cases political violence poses great threat on thesecurity of the plantation. Political activists sometimes burn plantations for  political reasons. Replanting is also disturbed on situations where workers areforced not to go for work so as to attend to some political meetings.
Legal challenges -
Changes in rules and regulations have a negative impact onthe timber production. The policies that are meant to protect plantations are doingvery little if any to protect them from damages.
Companies in the timber industry have been facing low production output since year 2006. The Wattle Company bought new machinery, divisionalised its operations andtrained its employees with the hope to increase output but to no avail. There seem to be some challenges in the management of plantation security systems and theresearcher seeks to evaluate these challenges 
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