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Forestry land mismanaged
21 | 11 | 2007
More than 730,000ha of forestry land is being neglected or inefficiently managed, a Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development report claims.

The report was made available at a conference in Ha Noi on the Government’s four-year plan to re-organise and renovate State-owned farms and afforestation plantations.

The report states that 52 cities and provinces across the country have renovated some 697 farms and afforestation plantations and are now managing 4.62 million ha of forest.

Under a Government-approved project some 757,338ha of land should have been transferred to local authority control. However, after four years only 24,461ha of forest has been handed over.

Nguyen Thanh, from the Tuyen Quang Province People’s Committee, said most State-owned farms and afforestation plantations came under the control of either the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry or private companies, which complicated the transferral process.

He also said that more land had to be transferred to local authority control than stated in the Government report because a number of farms and afforestation plantations had already given their land back after becoming companies, such as the 1,000ha Son Tra farm.

Deputy chairman of Yen Bai Province People’s Committee Nguyen Van Binh said the committee had handed over 4,500ha of forestry land to private enterprises. However, he said, many were reluctant to take on more land because of the expense involved in restoring run-down farms.

The average capital of a farm is estimated at VND7.2 billion (US$450,000), while that of an afforestation plantation is almost VND5.5 billion ($344,000).

But it is often difficult to accurately assess the value of a farm’s cultivated trees, making equitisation difficult.

Despite problems, the head of the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry’s committee for reorganising and renovating enterprises, Doan Dinh Thiem, insisted that the hand-over process should be completed by the end of the year. However, he admitted that there were insufficient funds to fully compensate landowners.

Thiem said the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry would ask the Government to make extra funds available

Source: www.vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn
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