HCM CITY (VNS)— Nearly 6.9 million coffee seedlings were provided to over 19,000 farmers in Lam Dong, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Gia Lai in the past three years under a plan to support farmers in the region to replace their old, stunted coffee tree gardens.
In addition, more than 16 tonnes of high-quality seedlings were also provided to farmers under the NESCAFE Plan, developed by the Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (WASI) and Nestle Viet Nam.
The programme offered technical training to about 21,000 farmers on the international 4C (Common Code for Coffee Community) standards for sustainable production and trading of coffee.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the area of more than 20 years old coffee trees account for more than 20 per cent of the total coffee areas in the Central Highlands, resulting in a decrease in coffee output.
The region needs to replant about 140,000-150,000 ha of coffee in the next 10 years.
It is not easy to plant young coffee trees because they can easily be attacked by nematodes.
Le Ngoc Bau, director of the WASI, said the plan had helped untie difficulties involved in replanting old coffee trees.
Along with training coffee farmers in sustainable cultivation, Nestle Viet Nam also supported the institute in many other works, including upgrading laboratories, funding tissue implant multiplication equipment, and building an area for testing coffee trees which can be resistant again nematodes.
The WASI has conducted research to create new seedlings with high productivity and disease resistance, which can yield an output of up to 7 tonnes per hectares nearly doubling the present average output, he said.
The plan will hand over seven million coffee seedlings to growers and train 24,000 coffee farmers in five Central Highlands provinces by the year-end. — VNS