The pandemic has dealt a strong blow to forestry companies.
The northern province of Yen Bai has 463,139 hectares of forests, of which 217,537 hectares are planted forests and 245,602 hectares are natural forests.
There are 30,000 households living on forest planting, and 500 wood processing workshops. The province exports 300,000 tons of veneer and laminated board.
Yen Bai’s forestry economy is witnessing unprecedented growth. The planted forest area has been growing rapidly and forest coverage has reached 63 percent, the highest level among northern mountainous provinces.
Yen Bai every year exploits 550,000 cubic meters of timber, and processes and exports 300,000 cubic meters of veneer and hundreds of cubic meters of plywood and laminated board to China, South Korea and Taiwan.
|The northern province of Yen Bai has 463,139 hectares of forests, of which 217,537 hectares are planted forests and 245,602 hectares are natural forests.|
However, forest planters, wood processors and exporters in the province have been hit hard this year by Covid-19.
Vuong Quoc Dat, director of Thac Ba Forestry, said with 1,000 hectares of planted forests, the company is one of the five biggest forest planters in Yen Bai. However, the company is facing difficulties: it has exploited only 5 hectares of forests this year, because there are very few buyers.
In general, now is the time for wood processors to come and place orders. But things are different because of the pandemic.
Thac Bai exploits 100-120 hectares of forests each year, including 50 hectares in Q1, and has average revenue of VND7-8 billion. But only 10 percent wad exploited by the end of Q1.
Dat complained that there are very few buyers. Buyers only accept low prices. Many of them ask to buy wood on credit. So the company would rather keep planting than selling at such a low price.
Since the government released Instruction No 16, the company had asked its workers to concentrate on planting forests. About 50 hectares of eucalyptus (K3229 and CT3 UP54) have been planted.
Dat said Thac Ba and forestry companies have asked for permission to delay payment of taxes and land rent, or they will not survive the difficulties. The land rent alone costs the company over VND1 billion a year.
Yen Bai has 500 workshops that process planted wood, mostly located in the districts of Yen Binh, Luc Yen, Tran Yen, Van Yen and Van Chan. But many of them have shut down.
Hoang Van Tuyen, owner of a wood processing workshop in Phuc Loi commune of Luc Yen district, said his family last year collected 200 cubic meters of timber from planters to process. But he has bought only 20 cubic meters this year.
Households allocated forest lands to exploit but also protect in Kien Giang Province have improved their income from harvesting trees and aquatic creatures and growing crops.
The government of Vietnam has been trying to diversify investments in special-use forests (SUF) in order to improve financial flows for forest management, protection and conservation activities.