At the meeting (Photo: VNA)
 
Dak Nong (VNA) – Strategies to expand coffee and pepper cultivation in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong were discussed between the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) and the provincial People’s Committee during their meeting on November 22.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Truong Thanh Tung hoped that the ACIAR will help the province cross-breed coffee and pepper varieties for plantation in concentrated areas, as well as apply high technologies, a sustainable production process, and good agricultural practice into the cultivation.

Dak Nong expects to receive support in promoting the links between supply and demand, as well as in technical transfer to local famers and businesses, he added.

At the meeting, both sides pointed out that coffee and pepper have failed as profitable crops as farmers tried to grow them on unsuitable land and during unfavourable weather conditions. Poor cultivating techniques also resulted in low productivity.

Statistics showed that as of mid-November, more than 1,000ha of pepper died, accounting for 7.7 percent of the province’s total acreage of pepper. In addition, the post-harvest process was not paid due attention and as such, the pepper products failed to meet the requirements of the global market.
  
According a memorandum of understanding signed between the ACIAR and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Australian side will endorse Dak Nong province and other Central Higlands localities to develop sustainable coffee and pepper value chains via building production links and improving the quality of human resources. The project will be carried out over 10 years.–VNA