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Poorest economic region to depend on forests and animals

   1/31/2007

Ha Noi, 31/01/2007:nimal husbandry and forestry will become key resources for the northern mountainous region to lift itself out of being the poorest region in Viet Nam, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). Deputy Minister Hua Duc Nhi said MARD is finalising its strategy of forest development, giving top priority to forest materials in service of production, thus improving the income of forest growers. The five-year strategy calls for the expansion of forest materials to almost 2.4 million ha, making up one-third of the region's total forest areas. These forests will be mostly reserved for the paper industry, plank wood production, construction materials and special foods. Once the plan is achieved, the northern region will produce 770,000 tonnes of paper pulp and 150,000 tonnes of plank annually, thus meeting 70 percent of the export-oriented wood industry's demand for raw materials by 2020, which is estimated at 20 milion cu.m of wood a year. Domestic supply has so far met just 20 percent of raw materials for the export-oriented wood processing. In regard to animal husbandry, MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat said the region is doing well in tapping its vast medows and locals' rich experience in animal husbandry to improve the quality of its livestock. "The trend puts it that raising cows and buffalos for meat should be the best way for the northern mountainous provinces to develop their economy," said the minister. In its 2010 strategy, MARD has set forth a target for the region to almost quadruple the livestock production value from 3.3 trillion VND at present to 13 trillion VND. The northern mountainous region comprises of 15 provinces covering a territory of over 100,000 sq. km. and having a 11.8 million strong population, making special advantages for the region. However, mountains strongly divide the region into small areas and the economy is mostly based on small-scaled production as the population has a low education level and the processing industry is still underdeveloped.

VNA
1/31/2007

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