Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ speaks at a working session in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoài Nam
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ has asked ministries and agencies to help Gia Lai change the purpose of infertile forest land.
By doing so, it is hoped the new direction farmers follow will help build a better economy for ethnic minority people.
Right now the rubber trees grown in the area have either died or produced very little.
Huệ made the request while leading a delegation of Government officials at a working session in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai yesterday.
The session was organised to review the implementation of socio-economic development tasks, news-style rural areas and improve the efficiency of agroforestry companies.
The deputy PM asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to coordinate with other ministries to submit a report to the Government next month.
According to the People’s Committee of Gia Lai Province, more than 12,000 ha of rubber trees planting on poor fertile forest land in the province were either died or had very low productivity.
In mid-2018, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc ordered the region to replace the trees with something that would grow better, but so far, that’s not happened.
It is blamed on the fact that rubber enterprises faced financial difficulties due to investment in growing and tending the trees for a long time, without any raising any revenue, which makes it very difficult for them to continue pouring money in plant restructuring or replant forest, as regulated by the 2017 Law on Forestry.
The committee said some enterprises have proposed to develop solar and wind power on a part of that forest land area.
“It’s a waste as more than 12,000 ha of rubber trees planting on infertile forest land is now pasture, not forest,” said Dương Văn Trang, Secretary of Gia Lai province’ Party Committee.
“We hope the Government would help the locality deal with the issue,”
Because the rubber plants which were in poor condition haven’t been replaced, Ia Mơr, an irrigation project in Chư Prông District with a total investment of nearly VNĐ3,000 billion failed to meet the designed target, he said.
Trang said the province would include the 12,000ha [of infertile forest land] in land planning for 2021-25 and asked for support from the Government.
"The area of land for afforestation of the province is still large, so investors, who convert to other crops or invest in renewable energy, can replant forests in other areas", he said.
Nguyễn Đức Hoàng, deputy chairman of provincial People’s Committee said there has been positive signs in the province's socio-economic development over the past eight months.
State budget collection has reached more than VNĐ3 trillion (US$129 million), meeting 67 per cent of the goal set by the State.
As many as 24 projects, with total registered capital of more than VNĐ2.1 trillion, have been approved in principle.
The province has 60 communes and 14 villages with ethnic minorities meeting the new rural standard.
While appreciating efforts made by the province in implementing socio-economic development tasks, the deputy PM suggested the locality invest in developing commodities suitable to regional and national planning.
Attention should be paid to the expansion of product development programs and administrative reform, he said.
To facilitate the deployment of important infrastructure projects and the ones serving ethnic minorities in the province, Huệ required the province to submit dossiers so they could be included in the country's plans for public investment in 2021-25. — VNS