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Forestry Extension in Relation with the 5 Million Hectare Reforestation Program (5MHRP)  

Forestry Extension in Relation with the 5 Million Hectare Reforestation Program (5MHRP)

Vietnam has a wide range of climatic and topographic conditions which accommodates a diverse forest flora and a variety of forest types including broad-leaved tropical evergreen and semi-deciduous, sub-alpine tropical, conifer, bamboo, mangrove and melaleuca. The majority of Vietnam?s forests are found within the mountainous midland and upland regions, with the central highlands containing upwards of 42% of the nation?s remaining forests. These upland regions are inhabited by a majority of Vietnam?s 50+ ethnic minority groups, representing some 13% of the nation?s population (UNDP; AFN 1998). Approximately 24 million people live in or around forests and depend on the forests for their livelihood. Official figures grossly understate the importance of forestry in the rural economy, indicating that forestry accounts for only 2% of the country?s GDP (Van San & Gilmour 1999). In fact forests provide main sources of income for the highland farmer through the harvest and sale of bamboo, firewood, medicine, fruit, fodder. Estimates of the annual rate of deforestation range from between 200,000 ha to 400,000 ha per year (AFN 1998; Hirsch 1996a; Van San & Gilmour 1999). Rapidly expanding populations and migration into forest areas are major pressures on remaining areas of forest. However, many forest scientists have pointed out that, one underlying causes of deforestation in Vietnam are the poor management and low production of production forest. A farmer if fail in his production forest will try to enter natural forest, as an alternative, to raise his income. As our unofficially observation around the country, production forest in Vietnam, except the case of a few export companies, is far from a profitable business. We have seen many cases, where the forest yield is very low - thus make production cost of the wood plus the transportation is already higher than the market price. Today, forestry is become a complex business, forest farmers need to know about forest management, silviculture technique, market, investment. All of these require appropriate training. The extension system of the country is, however, newly developed and is a long way from being able to meet such requirements. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the current extension system in Vietnam and suggest some alternative for improvement.

Published by: Sida -
Uploaded on: Dec 2003
File size: 100 KB - Language: English
Keyword(s): Administration , Communication Theory And Concepts , Development Concepts/Approaches , Extension , Forest Management System , Forestry
Category: Environment

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