Trunk and root borers have damaged cashew trees in Binh Phuoc province (Source: VNA) 
 
HCM City (VNS/VNA) – Binh Phuoc province’s agricultural officials are helping cashew farmers learn new cultivation techniques because of losses incurred in recent years due to pests and inclement weather.

The southeastern province is the country’s largest producer of cashew.

The local authorities have provided farmer Dieu Choi, who has a 2ha cashew orchard in Bu Gia Map district’s Phu Nghia commune, pesticides and fertilisers to improve his yield.

In the last harvest season, he had a poor yield of 700 kilos of cashew.

Choi has learned how to fertilise cashew trees properly, and identify pests and spray pesticides.

“I’m following the instructions and hope I’ll have a better yield this year,” he said.

Choi’s orchard serves as a model for other agricultural officials in the commune.

Nguyen Van Huan, of Phu Nghia commune, said he had cut down grass and let it decompose to use as fertiliser for cashew trees.

In previous years, he had not pruned many tree branches because he was afraid it would affect yield. “This year I pruned many branches, cut down grass and did not spray herbicides,” he said.

Tran Dai Loi, Vice Chairman of the Phu Nghia commune People’s Committee, said the People’s Committee in cooperation with agencies has taught farmers how to prune branches, spray pesticides and fertilise plants properly.

Binh Phuoc has more than 71,000 households that cultivate 145,000ha of cashew. Most of the farmers are ethnic minorities.

The province plans to replace 25,000ha of old cashew trees from now to 2020.  

Mosquito bugs (an insect that looks like a mosquito) and pests called trunk and root borers have caused damage to the trees. 

The province has more than 2,400ha of cashew trees which need to be replaced this year because of old age and diseases, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Of the figure, Bu Dang district accounts for more than 1,000ha, and Bu Gia Map district, more than 900ha.  

Nong Van May, who has a 8,000 sq.m cashew orchard in Bu Dang district’s Dang Ha commune, said he had cut down half of his cashew trees because the trunk and root borers had damaged his plants.    

Over the past two years, he has had a poor harvest of about 200 kilos of fresh cashew nuts a year. In previous years, the harvest was 600-700 kilos a year.

In Bu Gia Map Map district, agricultural officials have selected about 70 cashew orchards to participate in the district’s programme to upgrade cashew orchards.-VNS/VNA