|The reason for shrinking pepper plantations is the low price of the spice. — Photo hattieu.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Pepper prices in the southern province of Kiên Giang’s Phú Quốc Island have fallen sharply, causing difficulties for pepper farmers on the emerald island.
According to Phạm Văn Nghiệp, vice chairman of Phú Quốc’s People’s Committee, pepper prices had fallen from VNĐ180,000 to 200,000 (US$7.7 to $8.55) per kilo just a year ago to about VNĐ60,000 per kilo present.
Plantations have also fallen from 520ha in 2016-17 to 320ha currently. Pepper output in 2018 is forecast to reach about 745 tonnes, down 485 tonnes compared to previous years.
The reason for shrinking plantations is due to the low price of the product. Many farmers have switched from growing pepper to cultivating fruit, vegetables and high economic value trees.
To deal with this situation, the district is looking to revive 500ha or more and target output of 1,200 tonnes per year, using the collective brand for Phú Quốc pepper.
At the same time, the locality will support and create favourable conditions for farmers to develop eco-tourism for pepper gardens. In addition, the district will focus on investing in the production and processing of pepper. — VNS