Abstract: The wood carving industry prevailed in many West African communities of the forest zone where both hard and soft wood abound for thousands of years. The industry has passed through many stages of development, from a purely primitive structure to a near-modern business concern. Wood Carving is an important and long established traditional artifact industry in Lagos and Ibadan metropolis which are the study Area. The wood carving industry has a very rich cultural background that has influenced in no small way, its organization, products and survival. An investigation of the various wood species used in carving wood work was carried out and the specific gravity of prime species estimated. The Benefit-Cost analysis was carried out for the business as well as the rate of returns on investment. Wood species such as Khaya ivorensis, Terminalia ivorensis, Tectona grandis, Nauclea diderrichii, Afzelia africana, Celtis zenkeri, Mansonia altissima and Alstonia congensis have specific gravity of 0.85, 0.74, 0.71, 0.67, 0.66, 0.62, 0.52 and 0.36, respectively. The beautiful thing about this is that such wood species with low specific gravity that are often rejected in construction and joinery have a place in carving industry. The benefit-cost analyses are in the ratio of 3.33:1 for smaller products and 1.32:1 for bigger products. This makes the business viable since the ratio is greater than one in both cases. Further more, the rate of returns on investment for the smaller products is 233% and 31.58% for the bigger products at 14% discount rate. This makes the business profitable since the values obtained are higher than the discount and/or the lending rate. The wood carving industry is a business concern with good prospects given the necessary assistance and proper direction. Thus, this research of art that serves as a national heritage must continue from one generation to the other.
O.Y. Ogunsanwo , A.A. Aiyeloja and A.O. Owowa , 2007. Wood Carving in South-Western Nigeria a Techno-Economic Analysis of Tree Species Utilization. Agricultural Journal, 2: 101-104.