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2/9/2015 3:19:00 PM
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Queen of Nuts crowned


After over 10 years of growing amongst coffee, pepper and cashew plants in the Central Highlands, macadamia trees have become wildly popular among local farmers, with one kilogramme of unshelled nuts reaching VND700,000 ($32.71), 36 per cent cheaper compared to the Australian VND950,000 ($44.39), newswire Vneconomy reports.



Dinh Manh Dai, a Dak Lak province farmer, and his family have been growing macadamia plants for almost five years. In 2010, Dai attended a seminar on macadamia plants held by the Dak Lak Department of Science and Technology and Vina Macca JSC. After thorough studying of scientific reports on the plant, Dai decided to invest VND40 million ($1,860) for a cultivation trial.

The Krong Nang District in Dak Lak province, where Dai grows his plants, now has over 17,800 seedlings with the number of families starting to cultivate the plants still on the rise. The volume is estimated to yield up to 200,000 tonnes of macadamia nuts this year.

Kim Thi Dinh, another Krong Nang district farmer, first grew macadamia trees intercropping with coffee plants and the volume yielded remarkably. Dinh, however, could not find buyers for the nuts at the beginning and had thought of dumping the plants until groups of experts from Australia, Thailand and Japan came to conduct a survey on the plants in the region. The macadamia plants were then confirmed to cultivate well under the region’s climate and soil conditions.

Dinh has kept her plants since then and after 10 years, the macadamia crops have brought her a stable income and proved to be more superior to her coffee crops.

Nguyen Tri Ngoc, director of the Thanh Tay Institute for Agroforestry Technology Research, stated that Vietnam had all the right conditions for macadamia cultivation, emphasising the particular suitability of the north-western and the Central Highland regions.

The plant, indigenous to Australia, was first introduced to the country in 2002 for trial cultivation. Local scientists claimed that macadamia grown in Vietnam could produce the same or even higher yields than those grown in Australia, the world’s top grower of the plant.

According to chairman of Him Lam JSC Duong Cong Minh, macadamia nuts have gradually increased their popularity in Vietnam, yet the main targets of producers remain high-income earners and foreigners within the country due to the nuts’ high market price.

Minh shared that local production is still scattered with low crop yield and quality remains poor in comparison to international standards for macadamia nuts.

Him Lam JSC conducted a comprehensive research project on macadamia trees in the Central Highlands in 2014 and the company has joined LienVietPostBank to invest VND20 trillion ($935 million) in macadamia plantation over the course of five years, staring in 2015. 

The project will focus on developing the scale of plantation in Vietnam from the stages of seedlings to the rezoning of plantation areas as well as providing financial support and facilitating direct involvement with local farmers in planting macadamia trees.

By the end of September 2014, the total plantation area in the Central Highlands’ Kon Tum province was reported at 50 hectares while similar figures in the provinces of Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong were recorded at 80, 500, 600 and 400 hectares, respectively.

Macadamia trees have proven to be more cost-effective than coffee plants for local farmers as the former can yield fruits up to 60 years while the the latter can only be utilised for one-third of this time, amounting to a longer life cycle of investments into macadamia production.




Source: vir.com.vn

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