Farmers take care of pepper trees in Central Highland Gia Lai province. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Pepper production has brought high profits for growers but the current rush at growing pepper for export will likely lead to oversupply in the near future, experts warn.

The price of pepper in the world market has risen continuously over the last five years.

The export price of pepper in 2011 was 5,600 USD per tonne, 7,800 USD per tonne in 2014, and in 2015 at 8,000-9,000 USD per tonne, according to Tin Tuc (News) newspaper.

Due to continuous price increases since the beginning of 2015, most of the pepper growers have not sold their products to traders after harvesting because they hope the price will continue to increase, the report said.

The price of pepper is likely to go down this year if this situation continues and the growers will face difficulties in selling their harvested product, according to Do Ha Nam, head of the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA).

Moreover, there are problems in pepper production although the farmers have invested much capital on them.

Nguyen Van Hoa, deputy director of Cultivation Department, said that the research on pepper varieties has not corresponded with the sector's development.

Few research establishments engage in the choosing, testing and management of strain quality, leaving the work to pepper growers, who lack knowledge to do it properly, he said.

According to Hoang Phuoc Binh, head of Chu Se Pepper Association in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) province of Gia Lai, said that to gain sustainable development, the farmers and enterprises should consider the consumer as a priority than their profits.

In addition, authorities should review and assess the ecological conditions in their localities to see whether they are suitable to pepper, and remove the growing areas which bring lower profits, experts said.

The sector also should form a concentrated pepper production area and invest more capital for infrastructure and purchase and processing systems to gradually set up a safe material area, said Hoa.

Moreover, the pepper growers should join co-operatives to share experience and apply safe farming techniques and disease prevention measures to improve the quality of the product, he added.

According to VAP's data, the country's pepper cultivation area reached 86,000ha in 2015, with output of 130,000 tonnes of pepper, 26,000 fewer tonnes compared with the last crop.-VNA