The Central Highlands province of Gia Lai has devised a number of incentives for local farmers to re-plant coffee trees in a bid to enhance the quality and productivity of the sector, according to a local senior official.

The province aims to have 13,500 hectares of coffee trees re-planted or upgraded as part of its sustainable development plan for the coffee sector from 2015-2020, said Dao Xuan Lien, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee.

It will focus on plantations within Grai, Chuprong and Chupah districts and Pleiku and Chu Se cities.

In 2015, local farmers will receive preferential loans worth between 80-150 million VND (3,700 - 7,000 USD) for each hectare to re-plant coffee trees on some 2,000 hectares.

Farmer Nguyen Van Ho from La Sao commune, Grai district has two hectares of coffee plants but more than half of them are 30 years old, yielding low productivity and quality.

With a 150 million VND loan, he can re-plant his fields, applying new seedling varieties and farming techniques and technologies.

Additionally, the province has urged localities and relevant bodies to ensure an adequate supply of 16 million coffee seedlings in line with local conditions.

Training will be fostered and a number of piloted projects will be implemented to ensure the plan’s success.

Director of the Gia Lai branch of the Bank of Agricultural and Rural Development Phan Tien Thu said the bank facilitates preferential loan access for local farmers under the programme.

Gia Lai has nearly 80,000 hectares of coffee trees, a majority of which were planted between 1995 and 2000.

Statistics showed that more than 18,500 hectares of coffee plants have aged sufficiently and need to be re-planted.-VNA