This has a tangible effect on the number of jobs rubber can support, as well as the wages it pays. by Perry Deane Young. Recognizing their economic importance, the government in the south sought to increase rubber output, and before American forces arrived in significant numbers, it had replaced rice as their most important export. Strangely, the teak trees that I’ve come across are often in eerie or significant places, such as dotting Hill A1 in Dien Bien Phu, the remote northwestern corner of Vietnam where the bloody final battle of the Franco-Vietnam war took place in 1954. The tripwire was then tied to each grenade. Souvenirs of torture in Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China and North Korea, while South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, New … Colonial opinions were not much more united. They believed that extracting goods such as coffee, tea, rice and sugar, in addition to controlling local markets for items such as alcohol, could pay for their costly presence in the region. Everyone appeared almost dead, and in fact in the end about all did die." But while the CIA recognized that rubber was of the utmost importance, they levied numerous criticisms and presented a pessimistic evaluation of the industry: under the southern government, the sector was unable to properly grow and adapt to the increased competition posed by synthetic alternatives; revolutionaries would continue to use plantations for recruitment and cover as well as economically devastating attacks; and French companies, which produced up to 90% of exported rubber, ultimately may pull out due to declining global prices, continued insurgent harassment and lack of support from the government. This list may not reflect recent changes . 4:00 a.m. RSS. ), “The idea is to have other things in the system so the grower has an opportunity to maintain an income in the five-to-thirty year period,” Beadle said. A rubber boom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries resulted in enormous colonial plantations and collection efforts in South and Central America, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Africa. And most of them are poor, so planting acacia is easier.”. This is the philosophy behind Kitchen, a new not-for-profit restaurant in District 2 that aims to nurture a community with delicious, healthy food. They preferred a more restrained approach and condemned the devastation performed by their more aggressive peers. Yet global rubber prices have fallen to a third of their peak in 2010–2011, and may not truly recover before 2030 due to a complicated set of international and cross-sector factors that determine its global price. Notably, the Vietnamese government scientists interviewed for this article suggest that Hopea and other native species should not only promote biodiversity, but supply Vietnam’s domestic timber market and $2.8 billion-per-year furniture export industry. In doing so, however, individuals and small communities, often living on the margins of society, miss opportunities for economic independence and security, instead placing themselves at the mercy of large bureaucracies. “Now I’d like to return to natural forests. Rubber plantations provide evidence of some of the worst abuses of natives at the hands of the French, while later serving numerous purposes for a range of private and public actors. Mike Ives is a Hong Kong-based journalist who previously covered Vietnam for The Economist and The New York Times. There are more than 1,500 species of woody plants in the country, ranging from commercially important hardwoods, such as ebony and teak, to palms, mangroves, and bamboos. 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