A cacao development centre (CDC) was inaugurated in the southern province of Binh Phuoc on April 10, as part of a multilateral project to grow the seeds sustainably.

Under the auspices of the Governments of Vietnam and the Netherlands, Rabobank, Mars Chocolate, Cargill, the Sustainable Trade Initiative and Oxfam, the public-private project started out in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak and other cacao growing areas in 2012.

Thanks to the support of CDCs, cacao doctors who are also owners of cacao village centres (CVC) will transfer the best farming techniques to farmers, guiding them on what kinds of fertilisers and plant protection chemicals they should use.

Under the model, each CDC will assist 25 CVCs while each CVC will offer help to at least 150 farmers.

On the occasion, a workshop was also held to help farmers learn more about farming techniques, nutrition, pest control and the market.

Vietnam is home to about 22,000 hectares of cacao, most of which is intercropped. In Binh Phuoc, each farming household annually earns 100-120 million VND (4,700 – 5,700 USD) from each hectare of cacao and cashew nuts. Each crop contributes to half of the sum.-VNA