|A cashew orchard in Bình Phước Province’s Bù Gia Mập District. – VNA/VNS Photo K GỬIH|
BÌNH PHƯỚC – Farmers in Bình Phước Province, the country’s largest cashew producer, are facing unfavourable weather and the possibility of a poor harvest during the current blooming season.
The southeastern province normally has warm weather now, which causes the trees to bloom and bear fruit, but cold weather since the end of December has affected the development of cashew fruit and flowers.
In addition, the southern region is expected to see heavy rains from the ongoing Typhoon Pabuk.
Điểu Keng, whose four-hectare cashew orchard is now blooming in Bù Gia Mập District’s Đức Hạnh Commune, said: “We are really worried... Weather changes will have an adverse impact on the cashew flowers.”
If rain continues or the storm affects the area, many of the flowers and young fruit on the cashew trees will fall off the trees.
Keng is spraying chemicals on his trees to protect flowers and prevent pests, which have increased in number because of prolonged rains. Fungi can also cause disease to the trees.
Hoàng Văn Thắng, who has three hectares of cashew trees in Đồng Xoài City’s Tiến Thành Ward, said some of the fruit on his trees had dried and fallen.
“If the weather continues to be bad, farmers will face a poor harvest as we had in previous years,” he said.
Lưu Văn Thủy, head of the Tiến Thành Ward Farmers’ Association, said unseasonable rains and prolonged cold winds could affect cashew flowers.
Cashew is one of the province’s key crops that have helped reduce poverty in the area.
The province has more than 173,900ha of cashew trees, accounting for 32 per cent of its perennial trees.
About 80 per cent of the province’s cashew trees are planted with seeds, not with grafted seedlings, and a large number of them are old with low yields, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The department has encouraged farmers to replace the old trees with high-yield cashew varieties and warned farmers to regularly inspect their cashew orchards to prevent disease outbreaks.
The province has five co-operatives that produce organic cashew nuts on a total area of 4,000ha in Bù Đăng, Phú Riềng and Bù Gia Mập districts and Đồng Xoài Town.
It has 226 enterprises and 328 establishments that process cashew nuts for domestic consumption and export. The province’s cashew nuts are known for their taste and quality. – VNS