Pit sawing compared to small scale saw-milling in Rwanda

dc.contributor.authorButera, Jerome
dc.descriptionAvailable in print formen_US
dc.description.abstractThe economy and productivity of pitsawing and small scale sawmilling in Rwanda have been investigated at the Gisovu and Rangiro Forestry Centres and in 14 communes. Data for production and costs were collected for the year 1980 from records at the Forestry Centres, from interviews with 176 pitsawyers in the communes and from sawmill anufacturers' information on specifications and capasities.The main findings were: Pitsawing was done at a cost of FRW 5,797 to 11,620 per m3 sawnwood, depending on species and worker organization. Productivity measured as total revenue divided by total cost varied from 1.29 to 1.86..Cost was lowest and productivity highest for the private pitsawyers in the communes.The pitsawyers investigated had a production per year of approximately 2.25 m3 sawnwood, a figure which indicates that they are occupied as sawyers only part of the year and that their work input, even when they _are occupied, is rather modest. Small scale sawmilling may be done at a cost of approximately FRW 6,350 on a circular saw to FRW 6;850 per m3 sawnwood on a band saw, the productivity being 1:70 and 2.01 respectively. The existing sawmill at Gisovu had the highest production cost per m3 sawnwood and the lowest productivity. The findings justify the recommendations that sawnwood production in Rwanda during the next decade should be based on: pitsawing with a work encouraging payment system, well maintained tools, properly organized work and proper supervision. A small, mobile band saw stationed near one of the existing Forestry Centres and, at a later date when softwood thinnings become available in sufficient quantities from the plantations, a small, mobile circular saw. Absolute conditions for the sucessful operation of small, modern sawmills are adequate spare parts supply, intelligent management and skilled mechanics and a properly equipped and managed logging operation. An estimated annual demand of 25 to 50,000 m3 sawnwood can be met by a combination of pitsawing and sawmilling, starting with 1,000 to 2,000 pitsawyers and a band saw mill, gradually increasing the production from each production unit and later adding an extra sawmill and more pitsawyers as the conditions justify.en_US
dc.identifier.citationButera, J(1982) Pit sawing compared to small scale saw-milling in Rwanda, masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (
dc.publisherUniversity of Dar es Salaamen_US
dc.subjectWood using industriesen_US
dc.titlePit sawing compared to small scale saw-milling in Rwandaen_US