Robusta coffee prices in the southern province of Dong Nai remaine high during the harvest season, which began this month, according to the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

This year’s bumper crops did not drag down prices as last year.

Prices for coffee beans traded at orchards are now around 40,000-41,000 VND (1.88-1.93 USD) per kg, up by 2,000 VND per kg compared to last week.

Gieng Hoa Quang, a coffee grower in Thanh Binh commune, Trang Bom district said his orchard’s output rose from 600–700kg per hectare last year to 1.2–1.3 tonnes per hectare this year, adding that his family earned 40 million VND (1,879 USD) in revenue per hectare.

However, in spite of increased coffee prices and outputs, growers are still struggling due to higher production costs, particularly for fertilisers and pesticides. Fertilisers cost nearly half the revenue, he noted.

Dong Nai province has more than 20,000 hectares of coffee areas, mainly in Xuan Loc, Cam My, and Trang Bom districts and Long Khanh town.

In recent years, provincial authorities have provided funds to facilitate the applicaton of higher-yielding varieties and advanced technology in cultivation as well as encouraged large-scale production and better linkages between production and distribution.

This move has helped local growers improve coffee quality and output. Most notably, orchards of the TR4 coffee variety in Tan Phu district recorded a yield of nearly 5 tonnes per hectare, three times higher than that of local varieties.-VNA