HÀ GIANG — The northernmost mountainous province of Hà Giang has identified the development of afforestation as a strategy in the long-term socio-economic development process, which was also the basis for effective and sustainable economic development.
Accelerating the afforestation progress not only helps to increase the rate of forest cover, but also contributed to raising people's income from forest economic development in Hà Giang, said Nguyễn Trung Hiếu, Deputy Director of the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Department.
As of August 16, 2021, the province had about 5,200 hectares of forest, reaching a forest coverage rate of 58 per cent, compared to 51 per cent in 2018.
The development of the forestry economy is seen as a breakthrough for Hà Giang to become a developed province.
“The stable income from the forest plantation has helped local families escape poverty. Thanks to afforestation, local people have developed economically,” Hiếu said.
In order to effectively implement afforestation and forest economic development, local authorities have implemented the State's policies in forest planning and protection. Additionally, the province supported forest growers with rates from VNĐ5 million/ha to VNĐ7 million/ha.
Quang Bình District, located in the west of Hà Giang Province, has the advantage of developing economic forests. The district has planted 1,913 hectares of forest compared to the target of 2,330 hectares.
According to Deputy Director, Nguyễn Trung Hiếu, in recent years, afforestation and forest protection is not only a goal to increase forest cover rate but also a sustainable development criterion in hunger eradication and poverty alleviation in Quang Bình District because forests are a source of livelihood to create stable incomes for local people.
In 2012, Lê Thành Nam’s family in Thượng Bằng Village, Bằng Lang Commune of Quảng Bình District started growing acacia trees on 12 hectares of their entire farm, which brought his family a stable income of VNĐ100 million (US4,300) per ha per growing cycle of eight years.
“Growing acacia trees is not effective immediately, but after eight years, it brings higher economic efficiency than other crops,” Nam, 50, said.
“Local people see the effectiveness of forest economic development, so they have planted more acacia trees. We want to have access to Government’s funding for afforestation to develop economically."
Because the topography is divided by hills, mountains, and small and fragmented fields, for years, Quang Bình District has focused on forestry trees.
Thanks to afforestation, many families in the province have escaped poverty, contributing to helping the district fulfil the criteria for building a new countryside.
In order to implement forest plantation development in the coming years, the agricultural department has advised the Provincial Party Committee to issue solutions on sustainable forest development.
“Solutions focus on synchronous and comprehensive development, from afforestation to the management, protection, and development, linking forest economy with ecotourism development,” said Hiếu.
“For effective implementation, it requires the participation of local authorities from communes, districts, State agencies, social organisations, and at the same time, through policies, it calls on people to participate in afforestation, gradually changing people's awareness of forest management and protection.”
The province strives for the forest cover rate to reach over 60 per cent in the next year. VNS