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Viet Nam to grow more Australian nut trees

Update: June, 13/2015 - 12:00

There are plans to grow many more nut trees from Australia in Viet Nam.

They are called macadamia nuts.

It can be a difficult plant because it only bears fruit after seven years.

However, people have been growing macadamia nuts in Viet Nam for the past ten years.

Early last year, the ministry approved 10 species of macadamia for cultivation in Viet Nam.
Early last year, the ministry approved 10 species of macadamia for cultivation in Viet Nam. -  Photo nongnghiep

HA NOI (VNS)— For three years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has been working on a master plan for macadamia development, Ha Cong Tuan, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, told Viet Nam News.

Tuan said the ministry did not want to let macadamia plantations get out of control, leading to over production and low prices.

Lately, conflicting ideas have emerged about the development of macadamias as a cash crop.

In Ha Noi on Thursday, the ministry, in collaboration with the Australian Embassy, held a workshop on the development of the Australian rainforest nut in Viet Nam.

Tuan said that the master plan would probably be produced by the end of the year.

Australian origins

Macadamia, botanically belonging to the family of Proteaceae in the genus Macadamia, is indigenous to Australia. Its sweet and tasty nut is said to be packed with healthy nutrients.

They can also be eaten as a snack or made into cooking oil, powdered like chocolate or used in beauty-care products.

Viet Nam started planting macadamias about 10 years ago and currently grows about 2,000 ha, with an average output of three tonnes per hectare.

With the current price of the nuts pegged at about $15 per kilogramme, farmers can earn $2,000 to $3,000 per hectare.

The ministry has recently dispatched a note to local governments saying that up until 2020, the supply of qualified seedlings would be enough to plant out 10,000ha.

The note also says that macadamias will be planted only in areas the ministry has researched and designated for cultivation.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Tuan said the ministry had researched this tree for 20 years and found that several areas in Viet Nam had suitable soil and climate to grow it.

Tran Vinh, deputy head of the Central Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Institute, has also spent many years researching macadamia.

Vinh warned that the trees could not be grown anywhere. They required very strict ecological conditions and a cool climate, including stable, low temperatures of between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius for several months during flowering and fruit-setting.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Tuan said his ministry had received reports from some provinces complaining that private suppliers were selling substandard seedlings.

He said that in the long run, this practice was dangerous because it took seven to nine years for a Macadamia seedling to produce nuts. If it bore none, all that time would be wasted, Tuan said.

Tran Chien Thang, a farmer in Tan Ha Commune in Lam Dong Province, said he had replaced two hectares of his coffee crop with macadamia.

"The prices for seedlings given by credible suppliers were way too high for us," he said. "So I bought the seeds and grew the seedlings myself."

Early last year, the ministry approved 10 species of macadamia for cultivation in Viet Nam.

Under the current law, only species approved by the ministry can be put into mass production.

Tuan said macadamia cultivation must go hand in hand with storage and processing because the nut preserving process was not as simple as coffee beans.

Nuts must be collected and processed within 24 hours of being picked.

And after being separated from the nut, the seed must be air-dried several times.

Then, the seed must be stored in a temperature of under 16 degrees Celsius with humidity of less than 10 per cent.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Tuan said Viet Nam could learn from Australia and Kenya, where the nut was grown commercially. — VNS

 

GLOSSARY

 

In Ha Noi on Thursday, the ministry, in collaboration with the Australian Embassy, held a workshop on the development of the Australian rainforest nut in Viet Nam.

To collaborate means to work together with someone to achieve something.

Macadamia, botanically belonging to the family of Proteaceae in the genus Macadamia, is indigenous to Australia.

Botanically means "in the world of plant sciences".

A genus is a group of plants or animals. There are many different types of plants and animals that belong to such groups, or genera, which are called species.

A plant that is indigenous to Australia comes from there and nowhere else. The opposite of indigenous is exotic. Plants that grow in a country but are from another country are exotic.

Its sweet and tasty nut is said to be packed with healthy nutrients.

Nutrients are the things that are useful to your body's health that are found in foods.

The ministry has recently dispatched a note to local governments saying that up until 2020, the supply of qualified seedlings would be enough to plant out 10,000ha.

To dispatch a note to local governments means to send them a note.

Seedlings are young, little plants.

The ministry also said that macadamias will be planted only in areas it has researched and designated for cultivation.

If an area has been designated for macadamia cultivation it means that plans have been made to plant macadamias there.

They required very strict ecological conditions and a cool climate, including stable, low temperatures of between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius for several months during flowering and fruit-setting.

Ecological conditions are made up of all different things presented in a place by nature.

Celsius is a measurement of temperature.

Fruit setting is a way of pollinating a flower to become a fruit without involving the usual insect pollinators, such as bees.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Tuan said his ministry had received reports from some provinces complaining that private suppliers were selling substandard seedlings.

Seedlings that are substandard are not good enough.

Then, the seed must be stored in a temperature of under 16 degrees Celsius with humidity of less than 10 per cent.

Humidity is the measure of moisture in the air.

WORKSHEET

 

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

1. Tran Chien Thang  is the Deputy Agriculture Minister.

2. Macadamia nuts can earn farmers between $2,000 to $3,000 per hectare.

3. Macadamia trees are such easy plants to grow. You can plant them absolutely anywhere and they will grow well.

4. There is only one type of macadamia nut in the world.

5. Macadamia nuts are exotic to Viet Nam.

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2015




























 

 

 1. False; 2. True; 3. False; 4. False; 5. True.

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