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Bamboo making in the highlands of Thanh Hoa

THANH HOA – People in the border district of Quan Son go to the forest to cut down the acacia trees and cut them into nans to sell to traders, earning nearly 200,000 VND per day.

At the beginning of August, people in communes and towns in the Quan Son border district went to the forest to cut down currants and cork trees to sell.

At the Luong river wharf, Mr. Luong Van Luan (32 years old, in Son Dien commune) is tying a newly felled cassava tree to be loaded on a tractor to go home to prepare to split the spokes. Mr. Luan’s house is on this side of the river, but is divided into a forest on the other side of the river, more than 3 km from his house. In order to have materials to make bamboo, he had to get up early to row rafts across the river to get there.

After about 4 hours in the forest, Mr. Luan came back with two bundles of currants, each with nearly 10 trees, and then dragged him to the river. “This year, the weather is favorable, so the oak tree is quite big and has a long internode…”, he said.

Under the canopy of trees along the banks of Luong River, more than 10 people in Na Nghiu village, Son Dien commune, concentrated on sawing, cutting and splitting. They divide the trunk into 50-100 cm tube segments depending on the type.

Ms. Le Thi Hang, 36 years old (plaid t-shirt) from Quang Binh province, has been married to Son Dien for four years but has mastered the craft of making bamboo. “This job is not difficult, but it is quite hard, you have to work hard all day to get 150,000-200,000 VND,” Hang said.

Ms. Lu Thi Phe, who is over 80 years old, still holds a knife to split the spokes. Mrs. Pho has been with the woodworking profession for about 20 years. Because of her age, she could not go to the forest to cut trees like she did when she was young, but stayed at home waiting for her children and grandchildren to bring the trees back to help chop them.

“Va and cork grow naturally in Quan Son forest, without having to take care of them, helping people have a stable income in their leisure time,” said Mr. Pho.

Looking at the tree before measuring the size and cutting it into short pieces, Mr. Pham Ba Phong, 66, said his family has more than a hectare of forest land, about 2 km from home.

Every day after breakfast, Mr. Phong takes his knife to the forest, cuts down 8-9 trees, then bundles them up and pulls them down the mountain. Because his wife was sick, he only cut two bundles and then returned to rest. In the afternoon, he would sit at home chopping bamboo.

The working day of Mr. Phong and other families in Na Nghiu is the same. They did not cut down massively, but only cut enough for one day, the next day they went back to the forest to cut again for fear that the tree would dry out and lose weight when sold. The trees selected are pine nuts, 2-3 years old.

“The young trees will be kept to raise bamboo shoots for the coming seasons, absolutely not cut down because the forest will be lost…”, Mr. Phong shared.

Having many years of experience in making spokes, Mr. Phong recently invented a very effective knife for cutting spokes. Round knife, inside is welded 10 blades. After cutting the pipe from the trunk, Mr. Phong raised the blade to align it and then strongly pressed the death to the ground. The tree tube is then separated into evenly spaced spokes.

In another smoky patch of forest in Na Meo commune, more than 30 km from Son Dien, Nguyen Van Huan and his wife set up a tent to make bamboo. Due to being far from home, grandparents often bring food and stay for 1-2 weeks before returning home.

According to Mr. Huan, it is common for people who go to the forest to get bitten by bamboo shoots, and mosquito bites that cause malaria or fall and dislocate joints.

A young man carrying a bunch of bamboo sticks from the Na Meo forest went to the road 217. He said that bamboo workers are healthy, working 8-10 hours, they earn nearly 200,000 VND, the elderly and weaker only get young. half of that.

The bamboo-making season in Quan Son lasts from October last year to mid-August next year. Every year, the local government will ban the forest door when the bamboo shoot season comes. For about 45 days, no one is allowed to go to the forest to collect the bamboo shoots, but let the bamboo shoots grow for the next crop.

Farmers do not have to bring their goods to import, but just bundle them up, stack them along the highway, and at the end of the day, a trader will drive to the place to weigh and pay. Currently, the selling price of bamboo at home ranges from 170.00-180,000 VND/100 kg, higher than in previous years.

The bar is then transferred to processing factories to make toothpicks or fine wicker products…

Quan Son border district has many hills and mountains, and the soil is very suitable for the development of acacia trees.

Mr. Nguyen Van Sinh, Head of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Quan Son district, said that the whole district has nearly 41,000 ha of acacia and bamboo forests, concentrated in Trung Thuong, Tam Thanh, Muong Min and Na Meo communes. , Son Dien… Income from making bamboo rods helps thousands of local farming families have stable jobs and escape poverty.

However, according to him, the purchasing price of this commodity is still precarious and the shortage of production workers, especially young and healthy people, makes a part of the forest area not yet exploited effectively.

In Thanh Hoa, in addition to Quan Son, the bamboo crafts also developed in Quan Hoa, Ba Thuoc, Muong Lat, Lang Chanh districts…

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