Burapha Agro-Forestry Company Ltd, the first company to establish commercial agroforestry plantations in Laos, is preparing to plant more than two million seedlings in empty areas of four districts in Vientiane province.
The company is preparing eucalyptus seedlings to be planted in more than 1,000 hectares in Hinheup, Meuangfeuang, Xanakham and Meun districts.
The Deputy Chief Operation Officer of Burapha, Ms Souphayvanh Thiengchanhxay, told the media on Thursday that the company is now fully prepared to begin planting the seedlings in Meuangfeuang district on June 5.
“The government allowed our company to plant these seedlings on empty lands in many parts of these districts, but we were waiting for the land preparation to be completed, and the plantation will finish in August,” Ms Souphayvanh said.
“Compare to last year, the number of seedlings has increased, because we have more land this year. We will also give 200,000 seedlings for free to people who want to plant them in their own farms.”
She added, “We have plantation projects in Vientiane capital and Vientiane and Xayaboury provinces. This year, we will plant seedlings only in four districts of Vientiane province.
“Currently, we have 4,000 hectares for [our activities] and this will increase to 5,000 hectares if we can plant seedlings on 1,000 hectares this year. We also have a plan to further expand the area for industrial tree plantations to 60,000 hectares by 2030.”
Burapha, a Lao-Swedish joint venture, is today one of the world leaders in agroforestry, with the company’s first development work being done in 1993. It is a plantation and wood product manufacturing company with its own sawmill and processing facilities.
It is also the oldest foreign direct investment company in Laos, and it has extensive knowledge of the country and a wide regional network. The company is committed to managing and developing business in a sustainable manner.
Burapha believes that balancing economic, environmental and social responsibilities is necessary for sustainable business and beneficial to all stakeholders.
Ms Souphayvanh said: “The company won’t get off the ground without cooperation and support from the local and central governments. We will continue to establish more tree plantations and allow local people to take part in our activities, which helps to protect the environment.
“Tree plantations that create jobs for local communities help focus attention on environmental protection, which should be a priority consideration. The company is also, together with involved organisations, donating seedlings to farmers and people who want to establish their own plantations.”
Information source: Vientiane Times