|Macadamia cultivation is expected to bring significant benefits to farmers in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — As an ideal location for tropical trees that require high humidity, the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum plans to cultivate macadamia trees on 1000ha by 2025, according to the its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Đoàn Năng Rường, director of the province Sub-department of Plant Protection, said for sustainable development, the Việt Nam Macadamia Association should provide quality seedlings to farmers, and province authorities should link enterprises across the country with local farmers to ensure demand for the nuts.
Trần Văn Chương, deputy director of the department, too said the province needs the support of the association to source quality seedlings.
There are many sources of macadamia seeds in the market, but they offer low yields, are plagued by pests and result in low value, dissuading farmers from growing the trees, he said.
The province People's Committee should offer incentives to attract investment in macadamia processing, and the association should help identify businesses that buy macadamia and make highly processed products, he added.
Nguyễn Lân Hùng, deputy chairman of the association, said Kon Tum has a lot of lands suitable for growing the nut, and intercropping of macadamia with coffee should be increased since the former would also shield the coffee shrubs from the sun and winds.
Trần Trung Anh, a farmer in Kon Tum, said 1 – 1.5 tonnes of nuts could be harvest per hectare in case of monoculture and 500kg if intercropped.
It fetches farmers VNĐ50 – 150 million (US$2,150 – 6,450) per hectare per year, he said.
Raw nuts are bought for VNĐ 80,000 – 120,000 ($3.5 – 5.1) per kilogramme.
In recent years the decline in the prices of coffee, pepper and cashew, the province’s major crops, has persuaded many farmers to intercrop macadamia with coffee and pepper or switch completely to the nut to improve their livelihoods.
Macadamia offers a higher income than coffee while the production cost is lower, according to farmers.
Kon Tum has suitable climate and soil for macadamia plantation and convenient transportation to places like HCM City and neighbouring provinces.
But having a source for seedlings is an important factor.
The association already has nurseries in the Central Highlands region that provide quality seeds to farmers.
Macadamia trees have been planted in the province since 2013, mostly together with coffee. It has around 350ha under the nut now, whose output is estimated at 30 tonnes a year. — VNS