|Vietnamese wood products were exported to 120 countries and territories. — VNA/VNS Photo An Hieu
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam must improve the local supply of raw materials for the wood processing industry to ensure sustainable development and meet the export targets.
Statistics revealed that natural wood currently met only 10 per cent of raw material demand for processing of wood export products and for the rest one had to depend on imports and rubber wood.
Nguyen Ba Ngai, deputy general director of the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry, cited figures that the country had around 13 million hectares of natural forests with an average reserve of 220 million cubic metres per hectares but most trees were of low quality and could not be used in processing for exports.
Poor farming techniques and management, high planting density in addition to small-scale production affected the quality of wood, Vo Dai Hai, director of the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences said.
The inefficient use of raw materials was also a problem, Nguyen Ton Quyen, deputy president of the Viet Nam Timber and Forest Products Association pointed out.
He said that exports of 11 million cubic metres of wood chips brought only US$900 million in turnover while exports of four million cubic metres could generate up to $6.3 billion.
Reorganising of production to boost domestic supply of raw wood was necessary for sustainable forest plantation, he said.
He said that forest land should be handed over to farmers to encourage their participation while co-ordination between wood processing firms and farmers should be enhanced.
Modern farming techniques, especially intensive cultivation, together with high-quality varieties need to be applied in order to enhance wood quality and output and expand the forest areas certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Viet Nam had 170,000ha of forest got FSC's certificates.
Vietnamese wood products were exported to 120 countries and territories.
Statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that in the first 10 months of this year, exports of wood and wooden products reached $5.47 billion, up 7.9 per cent against the same period last year.
The United States, Japan and China were the three largest importers of Vietnamese wood products, accounting for more than 67 per cent of the total export value. — VNS