A cashew orchard in Binh Phuoc province’s Bu Gia Map district  (Photo: VNA)

Binh Phuoc (VNS/VNA)
- Farmers in Binh Phuoc province, the country’s largest cashew producer, are facing unfavourable weather and the possibility of a poor harvest during the current blooming season.

The southeastern province normally has warm weather now, which causes the trees to bloom and bear fruit, but cold weather since the end of December has affected the development of cashew fruit and flowers.

In addition, the southern region is expected to see heavy rains from the ongoing Typhoon Pabuk.

Dieu Keng, whose four-hectare cashew orchard is now blooming in Bu Gia Map district’s Duc Hanh commune, said: “We are really worried... Weather changes will have an adverse impact on the cashew flowers.”

If rain continues or the storm affects the area, many of the flowers and young fruit on the cashew trees will fall off the trees.

Keng is spraying chemicals on his trees to protect flowers and prevent pests, which have increased in number because of prolonged rains. Fungi can also cause disease to the trees.  

Hoang Van Thang, who has three hectares of cashew trees in Dong Xoai city’s Tien Thanh ward, said some of the fruit on his trees had dried and fallen.

“If the weather continues to be bad, farmers will face a poor harvest as we had in previous years,” he said.

Luu Van Thuy, head of the Tien Thanh Ward Farmers’ Association, said unseasonable rains and prolonged cold winds could affect cashew flowers.

Cashew is one of the province’s key crops that have helped reduce poverty in the area.

The province has more than 173,900ha of cashew trees, accounting for 32 percent of its perennial trees.

About 80 percent of the province’s cashew trees are planted with seeds, not with grafted seedlings, and a large number of them are old with low yields, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The department has encouraged farmers to replace the old trees with high-yield cashew varieties and warned farmers to regularly inspect their cashew orchards to prevent disease outbreaks.

The province has five co-operatives that produce organic cashew nuts on a total area of 4,000ha in Bu Dang, Phu Rieng and Bu Gia Map districts and Dong Xoai town.

It has 226 enterprises and 328 establishments that process cashew nuts for domestic consumption and export. The province’s cashew nuts are known for their taste and quality.-VNS/VNA