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High supply, low demand for taro

Update: July, 25/2015 - 08:54
A farmer harvest taro in Tri Ton District, An Giang Province. The province's farmers are despairing over a recent fall in prices and the resulting oversupply. — Photo danviet.vn
AN GIANG  (VNS) — Farmers in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, which farms the most taro in Viet Nam, are despairing over a recent fall in prices and the resulting oversupply.

Earlier in 2014, taro prices reached VND18,000 ($0.8) per kilo, driving farmers in mountainous and flat areas alike to cultivate them.

A taro grower in Cho Moi District's Hoi An Commune, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that last year he received a lot of orders for taro seed from the south, central and north, in addition to supplying products for traders in HCM City.

"Last year I sold dozens of tonnes of taro seed per week, but this year all my products are waiting for buyers," he told Nong Thon Ngay Nay (Countryside Today).

Farmers in Tri Ton and Tinh Bien districts saw the high sales and also rushed to cultivate the plant, despite warnings from the agricultural sector.

A farmer in Tri Ton District said last year he invested hundreds of millions of dong in 2ha of taro on Dai Mountain.

"I was very interested in planting it because farmers in Tinh Bien district's An Cu Commune earn a lot of money growing taro," he said.

However, over-cultivation led to a fall in prices this year to about one fifth of last year's.

Nguyen Van Sanh, head of the Agricultural and Rural Development Office of Cho Moi District said farmers should not expand their taro fields anymore.

Since few traders have bought the already abundant taro in the area, farmers have had to use it as food for fish, he said.

According to the agriculture office, farmers need traders to buy about 250ha of harvested taro. — VNS

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