Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Bình Phước Province’s agricultural officials are helping cashew farmers learn new cultivation techniques because of losses incurred in recent years due to pests and inclement weather.
The southeastern province is the country’s largest producer of cashews.
The local authorities have provided farmer Điểu Choi, who has a 2ha cashew orchard in Bù Gia Mập District’s Phú Nghĩa Commune, pesticides and fertilisers to improve his yield.
In the last harvest season, he had a poor yield of 700 kilos of cashew.
Choi has learned how to fertilise cashew trees properly, and identify pests and spray pesticides.
“I’m following the instructions and hope I’ll have a better yield this year,” he said.
Choi’s orchard serves as a model for other agricultural officials in the commune.
Nguyễn Văn Huấn, of Phú Nghĩa Commune, said he had cut down grass and let it decompose to use as fertiliser for cashew trees.
In previous years, he had not pruned many tree branches because he was afraid it would affect yield. “This year I pruned many branches, cut down grass and did not spray herbicides,” he said.
Trần Đại Lợi, deputy chairman of the Phú Nghĩa Commune People’s Committee, said the People’s Committee in co-operation with agencies has taught farmers how to prune branches, spray pesticides and fertilise plants properly.
Bình Phước has more than 71,000 households that cultivate 145,000ha of cashew. Most of the farmers are ethnic minorities.
The province plans to replace 25,000ha of old cashew trees from now to 2020.
Mosquito bugs (an insect that looks like a mosquito) and pests called trunk and root borers have caused damage to the trees.
The province has more than 2,400ha of cashew trees which need to be replaced this year because of old age and diseases, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Of the figure, Bù Đăng District accounts for more than 1,000ha, and Bù Gia Mập District, more than 900ha.
Nông Văn Máy, who has a 8,000 sq.m cashew orchard in Bù Đăng District’s Đăng Hà Commune, said he had cut down half of his cashew trees because the trunk and root borers had damaged his plants.
Over the past two years, he has had a poor harvest of about 200 kilos of fresh cashew nuts a year. In previous years, the harvest was 600-700 kilos a year.
In Bù Gia Mập District, agricultural officials have selected about 70 cashew orchards to participate in the district’s programme to upgrade cashew orchards. – VNS