Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, Simone Giger, wants future discussions with the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) to heighten environmental protection and combat climate change.
She believes future collaborations would facilitate development programming and combine the expertise of both countries.
“I believe that we can build on the discussions that we had today on not only the lab but what the centre does generally in terms of protecting the climate, that the environment is kept clean and also restoring livelihood, especially after mining.
“The research the centre does will give us food for thought for our development programming that we do in different fields and different value chains. The future is about combining the different strengths of homegrown solutions made in Ghana with appropriate technology developed here,” she said.
Simone Giger was speaking at the visit and inspection of Swiss-sponsored projects at the FORIG, including the furniture and wood testing laboratory centre.
The laboratory enables the centre to test the quality, safety, durability and strength of the furniture and wood products produced in the country.
The wood and wood base machines would test wood materials like plywood, particle board, and chipboard to ensure that they meet international standards.
The lab contains machines such as Humidifier, alternating bending test rig, and impact testers.
Simone Giger expressed her satisfaction with the centre and workers.
“I am impressed, it is one thing to read on paper, but a completely different thing when you see it in real life. I am impressed that there is such a centre in Ghana, and it looks like a top-notch and quality facility. Congratulations on all the work you are doing here. This lab has shown what collaboration between Ghana and Switzerland can do. The equipment that we donated is top-notch technology,” he said.
Technical manager and head of division for the wood industry and utilization of FORIG, Francis Wilson Owusu, says the labs would cut down government expenditure on wood products.
He explains that the facility would add value to the wood products industry, and ensure the protection of forests in Ghana.
“Every year, government try to come for new furniture product for schools. Once we have this facility, at can test their design and make sure they can stay for a long period, and prevent the government from wasting money on another set of furniture.
“Once we have good quality, it increases the value of the product. Again, If one sits in an uncomfortable chair, it poses risk to the individual. So we are trying to minimise the health risk. We are also looking at the sustainability of our forest. If we can come up with quality materials, it means that it is going to last, and that also means going back to the forest for wood will take a very long time before extracting,” he said.
Chief technical advisor and coordinator for the Global quality and standard program (GQSP) Abena Sarfowaa Osei, reveals the $1.5 million worth facility is accredited to enable Ghana to export furniture and wood products.
“The SECO-funded program refurbished this laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment costing over $1.5 million. This laboratory will help Ghana test the quality of food and lumber before they are used for furniture production. To enable testing coming from this lab to be internationally accepted, the GQSP continued by bringing the lab to be internationally accredited,” she said.
The laboratory centre is a Swiss-funded project through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) TCB programme.
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