The Development of Furniture Industry in Singa (Sudan).

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Hussain Awad Sayed, Ahmed
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Furniture industry is one of the most important forest-wood based industries, which provides local employment and acts as suitable enterprise in rural areas. Singa area is a prominent example of furniture industry in Sudan. This study was conducted at Singa during 1994-1996, to estimate production, effectiveness, causes of initiation, problems and socio-economic impacts of the furniture industry on the rural community. Open-ended questionnaires, visits, interviews and collection of secondary data were used in this study. The data was entered in the computer using QPRO program and analyzed using SAS program, frequencies, means, maxima, minima and correlations were obtained. The results showed that, most respondents hired their workshops, which indicates that this activity is carried by professionals. The bulk of the owners ages lies within the activity age. Most of the owners were local inhabitants and 50% of them had basic education. Owners who had higher education look at this industry as an investment. It was found that furniture industry consumed about 758m3 of wood per year. More than 90% of the owners related the initiation of furniture industry in Singa to the availability of raw material (wood) and about 40% related that to the availability of trained labour force. Average machine efficiency was found to be 10.7% because of external factors. Classification of workshops showed that nearly 36% of workshops were medium size class. The main problem of this industry is the increasing prices of inputs and the high rates of taxes. Most of the production was marketed in Singa. The main marketing problem was found to be the high rates of the production customs. About 70% of the owners were self financed. About 60% of the owners felt that higlig is the most preferred species followed by sunt. Higlig was preferred for its lower prices and bright colour. Conversion factor of the workshops was estimated to be 41% which is seen to be reasonable. The economic role played by this industry to the rural community is appreciated. The contribution of the industry to the social services in Singa amounted to nearly Ls 12 millions during the year 1994.
The Development of Furniture Industry in Singa (Sudan).