With an area of organic cinnamon of nearly 2,250 ha, Bac Ha district now accounts for nearly 65% of the total organic cinnamon area of Lao Cai province.

A district with 65% of the province’s organic cinnamon area

Lao Cai province currently has a total cinnamon area of about 48,580 ha. Of which, 3,671 ha has been certificated as organic cinnamon, especially Bac Ha district has 2,247 ha. This is the center of organic cinnamon in Lao Cai, which has been following the right direction, bringing high economic efficiency, sustainable poverty reduction, and improving the lives of local farmers.

Thanks to cinnamon trees, the life of the Dao ethnic group in Nam Det commune (Bac Ha) is improving. (Photo: Xuan Cuong)

Currently, Bac Ha district has about 8,600 ha of cinnamon, of which the newly planted area in the first 9 months of 2022 reaches 292 ha. The whole district strives to plant 580 ha of new trees by 2022, raising the total area of cinnamon in the whole district to 9,881 ha, of which the area for harvest now is more than 4,000 ha. The cinnamon area of Bac Ha is concentrated in 12 communes but mainly in Nam Det, Nam Luc, Coc Lau, Ban Cai, and Coc Ly communes. The district’s cinnamon production in the first 9 months of 2022 was over 12,520 tonnes, worth nearly 213 billion VND.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Giang, Head of the District Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that by 2022, cinnamon trees have been attached to Bac Ha for nearly 50 years. In particular, 2,248 ha of three communes (Nam Luc, Ban Cai, and Nam Det) has been certificated as organic cinnamon, accounting for 64.1% of the organic cinnamon area in the province. It can be confirmed that cinnamon has been bringing a breakthrough in economic and social development in the communes of Bac Ha district.

It is expected that by the end of 2022, the district production of cinnamon will reach 17,887 tonnes, and the value of cinnamon will reach 304 billion VND, accounting for nearly 25% of the total value of the agriculture sector. This is a very large source of income for farmers, not only to help them eliminate poverty but also to get rich and many become billionaires.

Mr. Truong Van Tim, Head of Nam Kha 2 village, Nam Luc commune, was introducing the sample organic cinnamon hill guided by Lao Cai Agricultural Extension Center. (Photo: Xuan Cuong)

Nam Luc is a typical commune in the development of organic cinnamon in Bac Ha. Currently, the commune has 2,800 ha of cinnamon, up 800 ha compared to 2020, in which the area of organic cinnamon reaches more than 923 ha. In the first 9 months of 2022, people in the commune planted 70 ha of new cinnamon trees. To date, Nam Luc has ranked second, after Nam Det, in terms of the cinnamon area.

 Nam Kha 2 village (Nam Luc commune) has 127 households with 591 people, of which the Mong have 25 households, the Dao has 71 households, and the rest are Kinh. This village is a typical locality for economic development and poverty reduction. Mr. Truong Van Tim, Head of Nam Kha 2 village, said proudly: “In the past time, the village has received much investment, especially from the government. Currently, the village mainly grows organic cinnamon trees with an area of more than 200 ha. This is a key tree to help people reduce poverty, and bring a high and stable income. “

Organic cinnamon changes people’s perceptions

Dang Van Tiep’s family, Da ethnic group in Nam Kha 2 village has more than 2 ha of cinnamon. In the past, his family and others in the village used to spray herbicides to reduce the rent of laborers. However, in recent 3 years, his family has stopped using herbicides. Mr. Tiep said: After being guided to grow organic cinnamon, we are aware of the harmful effects of herbicides, so we do not use it anymore. Instead, we buy a portable lawnmower. This is good for the environment, creating moisture and increasing organic nutrients for the soil, and does not affect the health of families and communities. The quality of cinnamon products is also improved thanks to the organic standard.

Mr. Dang Van Tiep not only gets out of poverty but also gets rich by growing organic cinnamon. (Photo: Xuan Cuong)

From 2018 up to now, Mr. Tiep’s family has invested in making cinnamon seedling nurseries, on average, each year, they nurse over 50,000 seedlings, selling to people in villages and communes. Thanks to growing organic cinnamon and nursing cinnamon seedlings, Mr. Tiep’s family got out of poverty.

Cinnamon has been confirmed as a key crop with high economic value, contributing to poverty reduction in Nam Luc commune. In particular, in recent years, people in the commune have followed the process of organic cinnamon production, thereby improving the value of cinnamon as well as local cinnamon products. In the first 9 months of 2022, income from cinnamon products of the commune reached more than 17 billion VND

Mr. Sam Phuong Long, Chairman of Nam Luc Commune People’s Committee, proudly said: Nam Luc was and is truly successful in the development of specialized organic cinnamon areas. In the coming time, the commune will not only focus on improving the quality of cinnamon areas through the development of organic cinnamon trees but also actively develop new suitable economic models under the cinnamon forest canopy; develop farming to improve the economic efficiency of forest hills.

In Ban Cai commune (Bac Ha district), there are over 1,300 ha of planted forest, of which the growing area of cinnamon is about 1,100 ha, the area of more than 10-year-old cinnamon is 280 ha, the area of more than 5-year-old cinnamon is 180 ha. Cinnamon has been bringing a stable source of income, reducing poverty sustainably, and improving people’s lives in the locality.

The households growing organic cinnamon in Nam Luc commune participate in training on techniques of growing, caring for organic cinnamon, and controlling pests. (Photo: Xuan Cuong)

Now, Ban Cai commune has established 3 teams with more than 120 households and nearly 700 ha of organic cinnamon. Mr. Dang Ta Ton, Leader of Quy Village’s organic cinnamon production team said: His team has 34 members. They regularly exchange information, and share experiences in seedling production, growing techniques, and caring for cinnamon. At the same time, they coordinate to buy and prepare cinnamon products to supply to the market at the highest price for members. Therefore, the product value is increased, and the income of members is higher than before.