The "green gold" cinnamon tree in Lao Cai province helps people develop their economy

To date, the cinnamon area in Yen Bai has reached more than 58,000 hectares, exceeding more than 100% of the province's development target.

About 10 years ago, people's lives in Xuan Hoa commune, Bao Yen district, faced many difficulties; the average income per capita was just under 15 million VND per month. Since the cassava and acacia hills were converted to cinnamon cultivation, the lives of the people here have gradually improved; the average income per capita has increased to 40 million VND per month.

Now, when I return to Xuan Hoa, there are no longer scenes of people running to eat each meal. Interspersed in the story, we only see people discussing what car this family buys and that family building a billion-dollar house.

Harvesting cinnamon leaves and branches

Mr. Hoang Van Chuc, in Ban Vac village, Xuan Hoa commune, has been attached to cinnamon trees for more than 20 years and said that currently his family's income from pruning branches and selling cinnamon leaves a year is over 100 million VND. When cinnamon trees are over 10 years old, they can be sold for more than 700 million VND per hectare.
“The whole village grows cinnamon... Before growing cassava, the wood was unsellable. After growing cinnamon for 3 years, it is gradually pruned and sold. Now I have a lot of  money, Mr. Hoang Van Chuc shared.
Xuan Hoa commune has over 3,000 hectares of cinnamon trees, which is a key area in the cinnamon capital of Bao Yen district. Currently, nearly 1,800 households here participate in the chain of growing, processing, and consuming cinnamon products. Mr. Co Van Chuong, Party Secretary of Xuan Hoa commune, Bao Yen district, said: Cinnamon trees bring in higher income than other crops, creating many valuable products.
"I also want businesses to invest more deeply, such as in distilling better-quality essential oils or processing trunks and branches to process other products such as charcoal," Mr. Co Van Chuong said.

Peel the cinnamon bark

Cinnamon trees in Lao Cai province are currently actively planted and developed by people in some lowland areas in Bac Ha, Van Ban, Bao Yen, and Bao Thang districts. After nearly 50 years of growing cinnamon, people have experience growing, caring for, exploiting, and processing cinnamon products. Along with that, technical thinking about forestry has changed positively, and forestry economic development is associated with sustainable forest management and protection.

Mr. Tran Van Thanh, Forest Protection Department of Lao Cai Province, said: "The cinnamon planting area is well cared for and has high coverage. The benefits from cinnamon are great, so people are very diligent in protective cultivation, and forest fire prevention is very good."

With high and stable economic efficiency, since 2012, the cinnamon growing area in Lao Cai has increased eight times, becoming the second largest cinnamon raw material area in the country. According to estimates, the area of cinnamon raw material areas in Lao Cai province will continue to increase in the coming time and gradually transform production towards sustainability, striving for over 30% of the cinnamon growing area to be certified organic.

However, the rapid development of cinnamon is also posing problems in meeting quality standards, price fluctuations, and output markets. In recent years, with the attention of relevant agencies, the method of organizing the production and consumption of cinnamon products in Lao Cai province has undergone many innovations, including developing a cooperative economy, building a production chain, and forming cooperatives to purchase and process cinnamon products.

Prepare cinnamon

Mr. Le Van Long, Son Ha Spice Company Limited, said: Lao Cai province's cinnamon consumption market is mainly India, China, Europe, and North America. The demand is huge, but it requires high-quality consumption standards.

“Our orientation will be to make high-quality products for the high-quality standard market. To do that, we will have support in raw material areas, training for farmers so they understand the planting process safely, and support building a sustainable  chain, Mr. Le Van Long said.

In order to promote the potential of cinnamon, Lao Cai province has a strategy to develop commodity agriculture until 2030, with a vision to 2050, which identifies cinnamon as one of the province's six key products and industries. According to Mr. Do Van Duy, Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Lao Cai Province, to develop the forestry economy in a sustainable way, including focusing on developing cinnamon trees, Lao Cai Province has integrated investment and incentive policies. Production development for processing and trading enterprises in the cinnamon industry.

“First, we must determine that deep processing of cinnamon products is key. Currently, we are attracting businesses to invest in Lao Cai, that are interested in deep processing lines, creating a variety of products, and meeting demanding markets," Mr. Do Van Duy said. know.

Currently, in Lao Cai there are about 4,200 households growing and developing their economy from over 57,000 hectares of cinnamon. If the cinnamon tree is successfully developed and achieves its goals, then with the current value of over 700 million VND/ha, in the near future, Lao Cai province will have thousands more farmers becoming billionaires from the tree.

                                                                                                                                                      According to Manh Phuong VOV/1

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