Viet Nam News
ĐẮK LẮK — Authorities in Đắk Lắk Province have warned farmers not to expand the area under sacha inchi, also called wild peanut, since demand for it is not consistent.
Many farmers in the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) province have switched from their disease-infected pepper and old coffee crops to sacha inchi since it offers a high income.
The plant is cultivated for its fruits and leaves, which are used as food. Each fruit normally consists of four to five seeds.
Traders buy the seeds at VNĐ40,000-90,000 (US$1.7-3.8) per kilogramme.
Nguyễn Tất Biên of Ea Kar District’s Cư Huê Commune cleared his 1ha of land of diseased pepper and cultivated 300 sacha inchi plants last year.
Eight months later, he began to harvest its fruits and has earned more than VNĐ30 million ($1,280) from it, he said.
The cost of growing the crop is VNĐ2-3 million ($85 - 128) per 1,000sq.m, according to local farmers.
After maturing, the plant fruits year round.
Many local farmers are expanding cultivation of the crop, according to Nguyễn Văn Non, chairman of the Cư Huê Commune Farmers Association.
However, since selling the seeds depends on traders, their prices are volatile, he said.
Vũ Thị Thanh Bình, deputy head of the province’s Plant Protection and Cultivation Sub-department, said sacha inchi is not in the list of plants allowed to be grown on a mass scale in the country.
Its seeds do not have steady demand, she said.
Farmers should therefore not cultivate the plant on a mass scale, and should only grow it on an experimental basis to avoid losses, she warned.
Local authorities have advised sacha inchi farmers who are working with processing companies to sign contracts to ensure they can sell their produce.
The province has more than 100ha under the plant, mostly in Krông Búk, Krông Pắc, Krông Năng, and Ea Kar districts and Buôn Hồ Town.
Sacha inchi is becoming popular since it is easy to grow and resistant to drought and diseases.
Its seeds have high protein and oil contents. — VNS