Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has urged localities nationwide to give priority in allocating investment to forest protection and planting, with the goal of fulfilling all targets of forest conservation and development for 2015.

He asked the localities to speed up the restructuring of the forest sector, focusing on the four prioritised tasks of increasing productivity, quality and value of planted forests; improving value added for processed wood; boosting cooperative and chain production models in the sector; and broadening the wood market.

At the same time, it is necessary to roll out drastic measures to prevent and fight forest fires as well as combat deforestation activities, while strengthening State management on forestland and inspection over wood processing facilities, he commented.

Last year, all key targets of the forest protection and development plan were fulfilled, with preservation work reaching 118 percent, and forest planting completing 108 percent of the plan.

Forestry exports were equal to 122.5 percent of the yearly plan, while forest violation cases reduced by 6 percent over the previous year.

Meanwhile, the Deputy PM demanded the expeditious approval of a master plan on sustainable cultivation of macadamia, dubbed the “Queen of Nuts” and indigenous to Australia .

At his request, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for monitoring seed quality and facilitating farmer-business joint ventures in collaboration with agencies and localities.

Well-known for its nutritional value and high concentration of mono-unsaturated fats, macadamia was introduced to Vietnam in 2002 for trial cultivation in several Central Highlands provinces, including Lam Dong, Dak Nong and Dak Lak.

After more than a decade under trial farming, it was found that Vietnam produced a higher yield of macadamias than other countries.

Local scientists have tested and found that the northwestern and Central Highlands regions have conditions best suited for the plant's growth.

The plant has so far covered over 2,000ha in the Central Highlands.-VNA