|People visit a macadamia garden on a farm in Mai Son District, Son La Province. LienVietPostBank will lend farmers US$1.02 billion to develop the cultivication of macadamia in the Cental Highlands region. — Photo baosonla.org
LAM DONG (VNS) — A seminar is inaugurated today in the Da Lat City to introduce a roadmap for the implementation of a macadamia cultivation project in the Central Highlands region.
The seminar is organised by the Lam Dong People's Committee, the Central Economics Committee and the Central Highlands Steering Committee.
According to the project, the Lien Viet Post Joint Stock Commercial Bank (LienVietPostBank) will lend farmers around VND22 trillion (US$1.02 billion) for planting macadamia on nearly 200,000ha.
This is the first project aimed at large-scale cultivation of the macadamia nut in Viet Nam.
The Him Lam Company will supply farmers with seeds, fertiliser, and plant protection products and will teach them proper planting techniques.
The money will also be invested during the first phase of the project for macadamia cultivation on 100,000 hectares (ha) of land by 2020.
Another VND18,600 billion ($865 million) is expected to be invested during the project's second phase to expand the area for cultivating the plant to 200,000ha between 2020 and 2024.
Nguyen Duc Huong, Vice President of the LienVietPostBank, who proposed that the Central Highlands Steering Committee organise the seminar, says Viet Nam has all the conditions required for the strong cultivation of macadamia.
"We wish to lend to farmers for growing this kind of tree. The farmers can collect the capital and earn profit in the seventh year as per our expectation," Huong tells the VnEconomy.
The macadamia nut is dubbed as the "Queen of Nuts" for its outstanding nutritional value and high concentration of mono-unsaturated fats.
The plant, indigenous to Australia, was introduced to Viet Nam in 2002 for trial cultivation in some central provinces, including Lam Dong, Dak Nong and Dak Lak. After more than a decade under trial cultivation, it was found that Viet Nam produced a higher yield of macadamias than other countries.
Local scientists have tested and found that the north-western and Central Highlands regions have conditions best suited for the plant's growth.
By September 2014, the plant covered 1,600ha in the Central Highlands region.
However, a representative from LienVietPostBank tells online news portal nld.com.vn that the plant is now growing spontaneously. He says the project aims to turn the plant into a key industrial plant in the Central Highlands region, which can provide a stable source of income for the farmers and turn the region into a "macadamia kingdom" in Southeast Asia. — VNS