Business Business

05/10/2017 - 10:14

No worry about plantation forest output

Growing large timber along the value chain, following sustainable forest management and owning a forest sustainability certification (FSC) is an indispensable direction to create high-quality products that meet integration requirements.

Opportunity to access domestic and international markets

Mr. Ho Da residing in Ben Van resettlement area, Loc Bon Commune (Phu Loc District) was excited to participate in afforestation along the FSC-certified value chain.

Mr. Ho Da The has been growing his plantation timber which was certified by the WB3 project more than four years ago. In 2015, three hectares of wood for boards in the first harvest made over VND 1 billion and nearly VND 70 million profit from selling wood chips. He calculated, “A five-year timber harvest only reaches an average of 85 tons/ha, with value of VND 80-100 million/ha. Meanwhile, seven-to-eight year timber certified by FSC reaches over 200 tons/ha. The higher quality of timber means the greater economic value, with the profit of VND 250-300 million/ ha. The profit from FSC-certified timber is VND 85-100 million per hectare higher than the normal one.”

Recently, Mr. Nguyen Van Dong in Ben Van resettlement area has harvested more than 1 hectare of FSC-certified plantation timber, with the output of nearly 300 tons sold for VND 300 million. What makes Mr. Dong and nearly 60 smallholders with FSC in Ben Van worried is the prolonged duration of plantation, so it might be badly influenced by storms. However, according to the contract the unit in charge of product consumption will buy all the broken wood at the price as committed.

Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Vo Van Du, said that producing and carrying on business of large timber along the value chain was the orientation in restructuring agricultural production towards increasing product value and developing sustainable forests, in which, growing FSC-certified large timber by smallholders is an opportunity for forest products to access domestic and international markets. It is also the basis for increasing product value, developing household economy, contributing to ensuring social security and protecting the ecological environment.

Promoting the effectiveness of FSC-certified plantation forest and being supported by the Vietnam Administration of Forestry in seed sources and fertilizer, in 2016, the Provincial Forest Protection Sub-department (PFPD) has implemented a model of large timber plantation throughout the province. Seed sources are selected from Dong Tien Company and Central Vietnam Forestry Company located in the province. They have encouraged 36 smallholders to involve in planting 55 hectares, with 25 hectares in A Luoi District and 30 hectares in Huong Tra Town. The field-test shows that timbers grow well.

At the same time, PFPD and the Provincial Rural Development Sub-department have coordinated with Sustainable Bamboo Acacia & Rattan Project (SBARP) and Scansia Pacific Company (SP) to develop a sustainable forest management plan for FSC-certified timber production and business.

By the end of 2016, the Global Forest Assessment (GFA) conducted an assessment and gave FSC to nearly 1,000 hectares of 14 household groups (241 households) in 11 communes/wards of Phong Dien, Phu Loc District, and Huong Tra and Huong Thuy Towns. Particularly, the Tien Phong Forestry Company has over 3,096 hectares of FSC-certified forests.

More preference

From now to 2020, the provincial agriculture sector will continue to expand the model of FSC-certified large timbers plantation forest. An enormous advantage is that the provincial People's Committee has recently promulgated some policies to encourage the development of large timbers following the policy of restructuring agriculture in the period of 2016-2020. Accordingly, participating households will be supported with 50% of seedling price over a minimum area of 2 hectare, but it cannot exceed more than VND 4 million/ha and 50 VND million per project.

Mr. Nguyen Chien Thang, SP Company representative, said that the company had committed to purchase all wood from plantation forest of FSC-certified smallholders in the period of 2016-2020. The wood of which the diameter is above 13cm and certificated by FSC will be purchased by the company with a price 15-20% higher than the market price.

In the case of smallholders who have difficulties in prolonging the lifetime of the forest for large timber business, SP Company is committed to support loans for investment. For four- year-old forest or more, farmers can borrow VND 4 million/ha with interest rate of 2% a year. The company will recover them when the forest owner harvests the product and sells it.

Forest owners participating in FSC are also equipped with knowledge on sustainable forest management, silviculture, labor safety and protection  when harvesting  and trimming under the support of  SBARP project.

According to Mr. Thang, the joint stock company of SCANSIA Group (Ho Chi Minh City) has already had a branch in Phu Bai, Huong Thuy Town. In response to the Government's policy of developing large timbers and sustainable forest development, they would buy FSC-certified wood to manufacture certified high-quality wooden products.

The need for FSC-certified round timber of the company is from 80 to 100 thousand m3 per year. Particularly in Thua Thien Hue, the total demand of the branch in Phu Bai and other jointly-operated companies in the province is 20,000 m3 of round timber and from 2017-2020, and about 40 thousand m3 of FSC-certified timber per year.

Box: Mr. Vo Van Du, Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, states that from 2017 to 2020 the province will develop large timber acreage to 13 thousand hectares, with about 6.000 hectares of FSC-certified forests. In 2017, the whole province will have 497 smallholders who register to plant 2.025 hectares, bringing the total number of FSC-certified large timber forests  of those smallholders up to 3.000 hectares and over 3.000 hectares of Tien Phong forestry one-member state-owned limited Company.

Story and photo: Hoang The