Farmers clean a cashew orchard to prepare for harvest in Bình Phước Province’s Bù Gia Mập District. — VNA/VNS Photo
BÌNH PHƯỚC — Farmers in Bình Phước Province have begun to harvest their cashew crop, and yields are higher than last year because of favourable weather and the efforts of authorities and farmers to prevent diseases.
Last year, many cashew farms in the south-eastern province, the country’s largest cashew producer, were affected by diseases and had low yields, but authorities and farmers have taken measures to tend disease-affected orchards this year, enabling them to recover and bear more fruits.
This year, the rate of flowers developing into fruits is in fact high at more than 50 per cent in most orchards, according to farmers.
Điểu Thanh, a farmer in Bù Gia Mập District’s Đắk Ơ Commune, said the weather this year is much better for cashew trees to fruit than last year.
Last year, inclement weather caused disease outbreaks, making his yield to decline, and his family had to spend dozens of millions of đồng on fertiliser and labour to revive the orchard this year, he said.
“Most cashew trees flowering this year have a high fruiting rate and harvest has begun.”
Điểu Hùng, who has a 4ha cashew orchard in Bù Gia Mập District’s Phú Văn Commune, said the harvest season this year came a few days after Tết (Lunar New Year) making it convenient for farmers to clean their orchard and do the harvest.
“This year, cashew trees have more fruits compared to … last year.”
At the beginning of the blossoming season, the province's Agriculture Service Centre organised farming courses for hundreds of cashew farmers.
They were taught techniques to make the trees flower at the same time and how to treat some common diseases.
In the province, Bù Gia Mập, Bù Đăng and Bù Đốp districts have the largest cashew growing areas.
Nguyễn Văn Bắc, acting director of the Bù Đốp District Agriculture Service Centre, said the centre instructs farmers to regularly monitor their cashew farms to promptly discover diseases and pests and control them.
The most common disease is anthracnose, a fungal infection that damages flowers and fruits.
Mosquito bugs and the striped mealybug are major pests.
Farmers are having a good harvest, but the price of cashew is currently low.
Traders are buying the nuts on farms at around VNĐ28,000 (US$1.2) a kilogramme, down VNĐ10,000-12,000 from a year ago, farmers said.
The province has more than 130,000ha under cashew, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
It is among the crops that have helped farmers escape poverty in recent years.
The province’s cashew nut has been granted geographical indication certification. — VNS