Viet Nam News
NINH THUẬN — Households in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận that protect forests have received additional help from authorities for farming, handicraft production and other activities.
The province offers soft loans, for example, to households who breed cows and oxen, goats, sheep, intercrop fruit trees in forests, and make fine arts products from tree seeds.
The Forest Protection Sub-department said dozens of ethnic Raglai households living in the buffer zone of the Núi Chúa National Park in Ninh Hải District make VNĐ5,000 - 15,000 (US$0.2 - 0.6) per product by using tree seeds to make art products that sell to tourists.
The households have an average additional income of VNĐ700,000 – 1.5 million ($30 - 65) a month.
Many poor households in the buffer zone of Núi Chúa National Park also act as tour guide and product sellers.
The Tân Giang protective forest management board, which manages more than 25,880ha of upstream protective forests in Ninh Phước and Thuận Nam districts, has helped these households breed cows.
Early last year, the board built supply pipes that transport water from a spring to provide irrigation and water to 60 forest-protecting households in the Dốc Đất area in Ninh Phước District’s Phước Vinh Commune.
Mang Dúi, of Dốc Đất, said the system had supplied enough water for the households in the dry season. He no longer has to carry water from the spring to his house and has enough to irrigate his 2ha fruit orchard.
Dương Đình Sơn, deputy head of Forest Protection Sub-department, said: “The province’s livelihood-support programmes have provided jobs for locals who participate in planting and tending forests, and they have also reduced the number of people who cut down trees in the protective forests to harvest firewood or to burn and make coal.”
The income of people living in mountainous areas has improved as well as their awareness about protecting the forests, according to the Forest Protection Sub-department.
The province has also allocated money from its budget for sustainable forestry development to buy rice for forest-protecting households.
The province, which has the least amount of rainfall in the country, has also built infrastructure, including clean water supply and irrigation systems in economically difficult areas.
This year the province will expand its livelihood models that protect and develop the area’s forests and continue to provide locals with advanced techniques for planting forests and breeding livestock.
In 2016-18, farmers in the province planted 351ha of new forests in which they intercropped drought-resistant perennial trees, according to the Forest Protection Sub-department.
The perennial trees included cashew, Java olive, neem, jack fruit, soursop, avocado, grapefruit and xiêm coconut. — VNS