In Laos,we are trialling a unique community plantation concept which combines growing trees alongside food production. Our trial plantation encompasses 2,200 hectares of plantations, 2,029 of which are planted with eucalyptus.The plantations are located in an area previously used by Viet Cong troops during the Vietnam War which had been heavily bombed. Before establishing plantations, we must ensure remaining unexploded ordinance is cleared. This also helps local villagers by creating safe farming land.
Stora Enso Laos first adopted an intercropping system in 2007, in collaboration with local villagers. In 2014, the system developed into a rotation scheme, similar to the villagers’ traditional shifting cultivation cycle. For the first two years, the villagers grow rice between trees and cash crops like cassava can also be grown for a few years. During the cycle’s last years, the area can be used for cattle grazing. This agroforestry model devised for these plantations will be further developed, and we continue to study suitable cash crops. The model considers intensive manual labour in order to create local jobs and support the local economy.