Ha Noi (VNS)– The failure of the cajeput tree market has hit the southern province of Ca Mau where many households are dependent on the trees and forests have been left standing.
Ca Mau province has more than 10,000ha of standing cajeput trees aged 7-10 years which are ready for milling, but the province had been unable to find markets for the timber for more than three years, said U Minh Ha National Park vice director Nguyen Van Dau.
Dau said construction companies preferred alternative materials such as cement and steel, which cost less than cajeput, while timber product manufacturers had started to use other species.
This had caused a drastic drop in the sale price of cajeput, from VND50,000/ tree (about US$2.5) to 20,000 ($1), leaving many hundreds of families in financial difficulty and a dilemma for local authorities which had planned to replant 2000ha of cajeput for environmental protection purposes this year.
To deal with the market downturn, the province had called on investors to build wood processing factories to make and export cajeput timber products.
However, it would take at least one or two years to build a factory, Dau said.
The province had now decided to reduce the cajeput plantation and plant fruit trees to help farmers improve their income.
Ca Mau province has 80,000ha of forest land of which 38,000ha is in cajeput forests – VNS