The 10,000 hectares of macadamia is proposed by the ministry in a report sent to the Prime Minister on April 6. The figure is much lower than 200,000 hectares expected and forecast by scientists and enterprises for the next five years.
Macadamia has been planted on a trial basis in Vietnam since 1994 and related experiments have since been conducted in 16 provinces. Macadamia has been grown on 35 hectares and 30 hectares of them has begun to bear fruits, according to the report.
Initial results showed macadamia can develop in tested areas with different yields. With trees of ten years old, the highest yields are 17.5-21.5 kilograms per tree, or 3.9-4.7 tons per hectare per year, and the lowest are 1.9-2.5 tons per hectare per year. In some areas, trees cannot produce fruits.
Based on the results, the ministry has recognized ten varieties of macadamia. It has implemented a number of projects like a pilot macadamia planting project on around 40 hectares in the Central Highlands and northwest regions in 2011 and an intensive farming of macadamia on nearly 480 hectares in these regions in 2012. Besides, organizations and individuals have planted almost 2,000 more hectares of macadamia nationwide.
However, according to the report signed by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan, the ministry has not collected enough data to map out a master macadamia farming plan. The ministry will study and issue documents concerning macadamia farming this year.
In the short term, to reduce risks for farmers and enterprises, the ministry has asked localities to guide people in planting macadamia in the areas with good test results only.
Large-scale farming of macadamia can be done if there are processing facilities and stable markets for the fruit, the ministry warned amidst concerns that massive growing of this plant in the country could end up in failure like other certain crops.
A couple of days ago, the ministry convened a meeting with scientists and management agencies, and they agreed that now is not the right time to massively expand the acreage of macadamia in the country.
Dr. Ha Huy Thinh, director of the Research Institute of Forest Tree Improvement and Biotechnology, told the meeting that macadamia should be at first planted in the areas in a favorable climate like Daklak and Son La and tea and coffee farms.
According to scientists at the meeting, many questions about the competitiveness of macadamia planted in Vietnam, farming areas, techniques, consumption and profit need to be answered before intensive macadamia farming.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said macadamia is a subtropical plant which can be planted at various regions in the world. But there have not been any surveys showing that Vietnam can compete with other countries, especially Australia and the United States.
International media gives good words about macadamia and statistics also indicate increasing demand in many countries. However, the question is whether demand forecasts are reliable or not.
“High prices will push up supply but when supply outpaces demand, prices will decline. And the countries with low competitiveness and limited natural conditions will have to quit the game,” Phat said.
Đăng ký: VietNam News