Australia and Viet Nam on November 3 signed agreements to commence two research projects to improve commercial returns from important forestry species.
The agreements were inked by the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hua Duc Nhi, and the Australian Ambassador - Designate to Viet Nam, Bill Tweddell, at a ceremony in Ha Noi.
Accordingly, Viet Nam will receive 919,000 AuD for a project which aims to address the domestication of Meliaceae species in Southeast Asia and Australia, and especially to manage the problem of Hypsipyla Robusta, a common pest in the industry.
The second project will address avenues to raise the value of eucalypt timber by improving methods of sawing, trees.
The implementation of these two projects is very important and essential for Viet Namกฏs forestry development strategy, said Nhi.
"Timber harvesting can produce valuable returns to help lift smallholder farmers out of poverty. Unfortunately, too much of this potential is lost to pests and after harvesting. Through these projects, two important aspects of increased returns from harvesting timber, and from successful processing industries, will flow to Vietnamese farmers and others", said Bill Tweddel.
Since 1993, the Australian government has helped Viet Nam carry out many projects, especially cooperation projects on agro-forestry and irrigation sectors. Of which, 56 were finished and 37 are underway.
The Australian government pledged continued support for Viet Nam, particularly in the forestry sector. It is expected that the country will fund around 3 million AuD to Viet Nam in the 2005-2006 period, the ambassador revealed.