"Cutting brought many good things for me and my family," says Andrew, pointing to the brick house behind him, a rarity in this remote village. Andrew is one of thousands of Zambian villagers whose lives have changed for the better because of the recent surge in mukula trade.
Coveted as a material for traditional luxury furniture in China, the mukula (Pterocarpus tinctorius, also previously known as P. chrysothrix) is a rosewood-like tree abundant in Zambia. Forests in Zambia cover 60 per cent of the country, roughly 45 million hectares, and close to 10 million Zambians live in rural villages near the forests – farming, collecting firewood and doing small trades. For many, the mukula trade has improved their livelihoods.