DPM directs wood producer to continue sustainable operations
Deputy Prime Minister MrSonexaySiphandone has advised Lao wood producer, Burapha Agro-Forestry Co., Ltd., to continue to protect water resources and biodiversity in its tree plantations.
The company should also strive to create more job opportunities for local people so they could improve their living standards, through participatory policies, remarked the DPM.
MrSonexay gave the advice during a visit with provincial authorities to the company’s eucalyptus plantation in Hinheup district, Vientiane province on Tuesday.
He also suggested the company increase its responsibility in environmental protection through soil improvements and by continuing to follow government policy and suggestions.
Burapha, a Lao-Swedish joint venture, has planted 3,000 hectares of eucalyptus, teak and acacia in Vientiane as well as in Vientiane and Xayaboury provinces, the company’s Deputy Managing Director MsSouphayvanhThiengchanhxay told the press.
This year alone, the company plans to plant about 600 hectares of eucalyptus and acacia as well as some native trees for reforestation.
The company’s industrial tree plantations have helped to provide hundreds of farming families with a higher income and money for their children’s education through the planting and maintenance of trees.
They have also benefited by planting cash crops such as rice, sweetcorn, cassava and others alongside the rows of industrial trees.
The company uses about 30 percent of any given parcel of land for its trees while farmers are then able to use the remaining 70 percent for their own crops.
The plantations can also be used to grow grass for livestock, MsSouphayvanh said.
Burapha began growing eucalyptus in 1990 in Xaythany district, Vientiane, and in Phonhong district, Vientiane province, and then received investment approval from the government in the forestry sector in 1993.
In 1999, the government approved the company’s request to establish a wood processing facility in Seanoudom village, Xaythany district.
Since 2000, Burapha has exported processed eucalyptus, teak and acacia products to more than 10 countries including to Europe while some has supplied the domestic market.
The export value of its products is listed at 2 billion kip per year, according to the company’s reports.
From 2011-2014, Burapha invested more than US$3 million and until now has spent about US$25 million.
The company proposes to grow trees on at least 60,000 hectares of land. These plantations would be a small contribution towards reforestation in Laos.