VietNamNet Bridge – If going to Bac Kan this season, one would see the green immense mountains and the forests. Alternate natural and plantation forests spread out along the hillsides and mountain slopes. Bac Kan is changing so rapidly, leaving the grey clothes to wear the new green clothes.
Looking up from the foot of the mountain, one could see the green 2 hectare forest grown by Duong Van Tien in Dia Linh commune of Ba Be district. The straight trees, about ten years old, were seen rising amid the March’s cold, the last cold weather spell in the northern mountainous areas.
Leaned against a tree which has the diameter of 20 centimeters, Tien said that 10 years ago, local residents lived in poverty and their lives depended on the forests and the fields.
Every household was then allocated some hectares of forests, but they did not know what to do with the forests. Big trees were then chopped down for sale, while the land areas were left for grass to grow or for cultivation.
As the forests were damaged clearly, in rainy seasons, water ran very fast from the peaks of the mountains, sweeping away the fertile soil. Therefore, people never got bountiful crops when growing rice on the land. Tien and his family members regularly had to abstain from food.
However, Tien has a new life when PAM program was carried out in the locality. Tien registered to join the program, promising to grow forests on the area of three hectares.
At first, Tien decided to grow Manglietia phuthoensi and teak trees. He also cultivated cassava and maize to earn some money. Tien affirmed that it is not difficult to develop forests, because the afforestation does not require high techniques. People just need to master the features of every tree and every land area to have reasonable plantation density.
People also do not have to spend much time and efforts to take care for the forests. However, they have to take measures to prevent forest fire. The forests may burntin the dry season, when people burn off for cultivation, if no cautious measure is applied. In forest fire, the efforts made during tens of years would become in vain just after tens of minutes.
According to Tien, 1500-1500 Manglietia phuthoensi trees can be grown on an area of one hectare. With the current price of 1 million dong per cubic meter on average, the money to be collected from selling wood is really a dream for local residents.
Tien has been earning money from the plantation since 2007. The sale of the trees to be used as the pillars in construction alone could bring tens of millions of dong a year.
“My three children would not have gone to school without the three hectares of forests,” Tien said. “I have just registered to grow one more hectares of Manglietia phuthoensi. I need to try to enrich from the forests.”
Luc Tien Trung in Bang Thanh commune of Pac Nam district, related that he began the plantation in early 2000s, after realizing that the land fund was left in waste. Trung and his family members decided to grow cinnamon and anise trees.
Trung said that he met so many difficulties in the first phase of afforestation. However, his great efforts were well awarded: the trees have been rising up on the land where there were only weeds in the past.
The afforestation has brought a new life to his family. Every year, he can earn billions of dong from selling timber. About 30 hectares of forest have been developed by his family since 2004.
According to the Bac Kan provincial authorities, in 2011 alone, it planted 14,544 hectares of forests.