Harvesting coffee (Source: VNA)

Vietnam’s coffee output in the 2015-2016 harvest is likely to fall at least 20 percent short on the set target, said the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association.

The situation is attributed to long-lasting severe drought in the Central Highlands, a key coffee cultivation region. Drought has withered vast areas of coffee in Dak Lak, Lam Dong, Dak Nong and Gia Lai provinces.

In Dak Lak, the largest coffee cultivation zone, nearly 48,000 ha of coffee plants were subjected to water shortages, resulting in a decrease of 15-20 percent in the output compared to those of the previous harvest.

Apart from negative weather impacts, the coffee output reduction was caused by increasingly low economic efficiency due to aging coffee trees and slow coffee re-cultivation progress in the Central Highlands region.

Vietnam is currently home to 671,000 hectares of coffee, making it one of the major crop earners.

Last year, the country raked in 3.55 billion USD from coffee exports.-VNA